The newly created Adult-Centred Education Conference - ACE took place in May of 2017 in Coquitlam British Columbia, Canada www.aceconference.net. The original vision behind the ACE conference was to provide professional development opportunities for adult educators locally. In 2016, we hosted our first conference in Coquitlam, B.C. - just outside Vancouver. The majority of the participants were from our own school district with a few people from around British Columbia. When I returned from AAACE 2016 in Albuquerque, New Mexico I was inspired to broaden the target audience for the ACE 2017 meeting. I was fortunate to be able to add Elizabeth Roumell and Chuck Baudal to our list of presenters - two great people I had the opportunity to meet at AAACE 2016. In our second year, we increased our registration by approximately 60% and expanded the number of educators and administrators from across British Columbia.
The new vision for ACE is to provide professional development opportunities to adult educators and administrators - in any setting. If you stand in front of a group of adults - face to face or virtually - we want to provide a meaningful professional development experience for you. We will continue our focus on instructional strategies but also seek to provide participants with a variety of learning opportunities - including our Thursday evening panel discussion. Each year ACE has sponsored a panel discussion - an opportunity to discuss issues related to adult education with no script.
In order to try to put as many adult education voices in one room, we need to reach out to other individuals and associations with similar visions. I welcome the opportunity to grow the ACE conference in Canada as we make connections around our adult education world. See you in Memphis!
Coquitlam Continuing Education
I had the wonderful opportunity to go participate in and speak at the Adult Centred Education (ACE) conference in Coquitlam, British Columbia this past May. Graciously hosted with the exceptional dining selections, the opportunity was eye-opening in that I got to learn a great deal about what adult educators are doing just north of the border, and I also learned about the Residential Schools that the First Nations children were forced to attend into the 1990s. The conference had over 100 participants, and Mike Downie joined them as a keynote speaker giving an inspirational and compelling talk about reconciliation with First Nations people across Canada and the story of the organization he and his brother founded to raise public awareness about the injustices suffered by Canada’s First Nations children. The conference was geared at providing not only professional development for adult educators, but also a sense of validation of our profession and purpose.
A thank you note to Michael McGlennon the conference organizer neatly sums up the experience,
I should have done this sooner, but I would like to sincerely thank you for the opportunity to go to the ACE conference last week and all the work and planning that went into it. It was such a treat to have the time to think about how to improve my teaching and network with colleagues and other teachers. There was an impressive variety of speakers. I was particularly inspired by the presentations by Dr. Roumell on methods to motivate adult learners, though I enjoyed all the other workshops I attended as well. Mike Downie made me think of the importance of personal "reonciliactions" . I really appreciate the fact that you made the conference itself such an action. The food was amazing as well--I've never had such a delicious banquet at a conference. I think both Dr. Roumell and Dr. Judson mentioned that adult education doesn't often get the support that it should. Thank you for validating adult education and the work we do.
I see a great deal of opportunity in sharing with our colleagues regionally, nationally, and internationally, and look forward to meeting them again in the near future. I found that while we have much in common as adult educators, we have even more that we could be learning from one another. I hope that we can continue building connections with our adult education colleagues internationally.
Elizabeth Roumell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University