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CPAE offers a forum for faculty in adult education to discuss current issues. At this time, there are several Special Interest Groups or SIGs. The SIGs provide an opportunity for dialogue and for leadership for members of CPAE. Each SIG develops one or more sessions for the annual CPAE Conference.

Critical Theory SIG
The purpose of the Critical Theory SIG is:

  1. to provide a forum within CPAE through SIG sessions for the discussion and reflection of issues relevant to those interested in critical theory;
  2. to explore the application of critical theory in adult education practice;
  3. to provide opportunities for collaborative research and writing projects across institutions and communities.

Faculty Development SIG
The purpose of the Faculty Development SIG is to provide opportunities for new faculty and experienced faculty to focus on their own development. This is the newest of the SIGs.

Human Resource Development (HRD) SIG
The purpose of the HRD SIG is to clearly articulate the academic and practical relationships between the broad field of adult and continuing education and the field of human resource development. Historically, the HRD aspects of training and development were thought to be a subset of the broad field of adult education. Now, however, it seems logical to presume that both of these are co-equal in status and both attempt to achieve similar goals, that is, create change in individuals, groups, organizations, and in society as a whole. HRD at this time of its existence places much stress on the "corporate" world with an eye to helping improve the profit of corporate organizations. HRD is not limited to the corporate world but can be found in public as well as private sectors of North America. Because there is such apparent similarity between adult education and HRD this SIG exists to examine such relationship, identify critical "touching points" where they may overlap, and to discuss among professors of adult education what these relationships may mean in terms of curriculum development and/or revision. It hopes to provide insight into the additional skill sets, knowledge, attitudes, values and interventions strategies required by adult learners in our various adult education programs to find careers in either adult education or HRD.

Instructional Development SIG
Within AAACE and the Commission of Professors of Adult Education, the Instructional Improvement Special Interest Group serves as a resource for good practice. The mission of the Instructional Improvement SIG is to support the purpose of CPAE related to instruction and:

  1. to identify and disseminate resources;
  2. to strengthen and support academic excellence,
  3. to provide opportunities for professional development,
  4. to provide a forum for dialogue on practice, and

  5. to model good practice.

International/Intercultural SIG
The purpose of the International/Intercultural SIG is to promote a greater awareness of and sensitivity to global concerns that affect educators of adults and the adult learners themselves. We strive to challenge entrenched cultural views about knowing by personalizing the learning experiences, to foster respect for different cultural patterns by members of the majority culture, and to contribute to the development of a multicultural perspective.

Neuroscience and Adult Learning
The purpose of the Neuroscience SIG is to provide a forum where interested educators examine the scientific value of current neuroscience research and theory in terms of how these concepts can enhance our awareness and understanding of the learning process. As a field, we have dipped our toes into this area, but we have yet to fully explore the possibilities current discoveries in neuroscience hold for us. This SIG provides both educators and learners an opportunity to critically assess research and theory in neuroscience as well as to explore possible applications, thus making us more informed and reflective.

Research and Theory Building SIG
The purpose of the Research and Theory Special Interest Group (SIG) is to promote critical discourse about a range of research-related issues, including methodological frameworks and practices, past, present, and future research agendas, and development and application of theoretical frameworks.

Women's Research SIG
The purpose of the Women's Research SIG is for women academics, researchers, and practitioners--

  1. to come together in dialogue about their roles as women in professional practice;
  2. to explore issues of power and privilege in our workplaces;
  3. to promote gender equity in hiring, promotion, and tenure processes;
  4. to foster opportunities for collaborative research which focuses on women's issues; and
  5. to enjoy the mutual benefit of close professional and personal relationships with other women.

The Women's Research SIG hosts an annual spring meeting, as well as a workshop in conjunction with CPAE's pre-conference, and maintains a listserv for ongoing networking and dialogue among women in professional practice.

Dialogues in Andragogy SIG
The Dialogues in Andragogy SIG is composed of two elements – Andragogy and Dialogues. Research in Andragogy has developed with two major threads:


  1. The History and Philosophy of Andragogy – Fifteen Eras have been identified in the 180 years since its inception in 1833 by Alexander Kapp from Germany.
  2. Six Major Themes have emerged in The Perspective of Andragogy’s Worldwide Foundation, which has been drawn from more than 400 English Language Documents thus far and the number grows each year as the research is continued.

Research in Dialogue frames the discussions conducted at the SIG Sessions of CPAE. The intent is to hear various points-of-view regarding andragogy (pro and con as well as neutral) as they are presented and respectfully listened to and considered by the participants in the SIG Sessions each year. Proposals are invited from persons newer to the discussions on andragogy, in addition to proposals expressing positions from persons who have for some time been researching and practicing in andragogy.