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Cyril O. Houle Award
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For Outstanding Literature in Adult Education


The Cyril O. Houle Award was established in 1981 to honor the scholarship and memory of Cyril O. Houle, Professor of Adult Education at the University of Chicago. It is given annually by the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE) for a book published in English in the previous year that reflects universal concerns of adult educators. Nominated works should exemplify outstanding literature in adult education.


  • Published in the previous year of when the award is given (e.g., published in 2019 for the 2020 award).
  • Single or jointly authored books are eligible. Compiled or edited books are not eligible.
  • Nominee must be able to accept the award personally at the AAACE Conference.
  • A publication may not be nominated for both the Houle and Okes Awards.
  • The winning nominee must be a member of AAACE (award includes one year membership if not a current member).

Criteria — books nominated must:

  • Be written in English.
  • Reflect the universal concerns of adult educators.
  • Be relevant to adult educators in more than one country.
  • Exemplify high standards of scholarship.
  • Be well-organized and well-written.
  • Contribute significantly to the advancement of adult education as a unified field of study and practice.

Nominations Requirements:

  • The 2020 award deadline for nominations was June 5, 2020.  2021 nominations will be open March 1, 2021.
  • Attach to the nomination form a Nominations Cover Sheet that includes the following information:
    • Award identification: Identify the nominations by typing at the top of the page: "AAACE National Awards Nomination: Houle Award for Outstanding Literature."
    • Book information: Name of book, year published, publisher, publisher's address.
    • Author(s) information: Name, job title, organization, address, phone number, fax, and email address.
    • Nominator information: Name, job title, organization, address, phone number, fax, and email address.
    • Signature: Nominators must sign and date the cover letter.

Nominated Book:

  • Nominations must include five (5) copies of nominated book.
  • Send all information and books to the Chair, Houle Award Selection Committee at the address below, to arrive by June 12th.

Mail Nominated Books to:

Chair, Houle Award Committee
2900 Delk Rd.
Suite 700, PMB 321
Marietta, GA  30067
Nominations must be received by June 5th.

Selection Process:

The AAACE Awards Committee works with the Commission of Professors of Adult Education (CPAE) to provide general oversight for the Houle Award process. The Houle Selection Committee consists of five CPAE/AAACE members. When possible, the most recent recipient(s) of the Houle Award are asked to act as Chair or Co-Chairs of the committee for the following year.


  • 2019 - Laura Formenti, PhD and Dr. Linden West, Transforming Perspectives in Lifelong Learning and Adult Education
  • 2018 - Carol Kasworm, Amy Rose, Jovita Ross-Gordon, Foundations of Adult and Continuing Education
  • 2017 - Dr. Ellen Boeren, Lifelong Learning Participation in a Changing Policy Context: An Interdisciplinary Theory and Dr. Patricia Cranton, Understanding and Promoting Transformative Learning: A Guide to Theory and Practice, Third Edition
  • 2016- Leona English and Catherine Irving, Feminism in Community: Adult Education for Transformation
  • 2016- Elana Michelson, Gender, Experience and Knowledge in Adult Learning: Alisoun's Daughters
  • 2015- Dr. Carlos A. Torres, UCLA, The First Freire. Early Writings in Social Justice Education
  • 2014- Andre′ P. Grace, Ph. D., University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada, Lifelong Learning as Critical Action: International Perspectives on People, Politics, Policy, and Practice. (Toronto, Ontario: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2013)
  • 2013 - Leona M. English and Peter Mayo, Learning with adults: A critical pedagogical introduction, Boston: Sense Publishers, 2012
  • 2012 - Stephen D. Brookfield, Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions, San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011
  • 2011 – Stephen D. Brookfield and John D. Holst, Radicalizing Learning for a Just World, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2010
  • 2010 - Margery B. Ginsberg and Raymond J. Wlodkowski for Diversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching in College, Second Edition: 2009, Jossey-Bass
  • 2009 - Lorna Rivera for Laboring to Learn: Women’s Literacy and Poverty in the Post-Welfare Era. Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2008
  • 2008 – Peter Javis for Globalisation, Lifelong Learning and The Learning Society – Sociological Perspectives, New York: Routledge Press, 2007
  • 2007 - Michael Newman for Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators Sharan B. Merriam, Rosemary S. Caffarella and Kisa M. Baumgartner for Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive, 3rd Edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass-Wiley 2006
  • 2006 - Ron Cervero and Authur L. Wilson for Working the Planning Table: Negotiating Democratically for Adult, Continuing, and Workplace Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass-Wiley. 2005
  • 2005 – Stephen D. Brookfield for The Power of Critical Theory: Liberating Adult Learning and Teaching, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass-Wiley, 2004
  • 2004 – Tara Fenwick for Learning Through Experience, Troubling Assumptions and Intersecting Questions, NIACE, 2003
  • 2003 – Alan Knox for Evaluation for Continuing Education: A Comprehensive Guide to Success, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass-Wiley, 2002
  • 2002 – No award given
  • 2001 – Elisabeth Hayes and Daniele D. Flannery for Women as Learners: The Significance of Gender in Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2000.
  • 2001 – Frank Youngman for The Political Economy of Adult Education and Development, Zed Books, 2000, London, UK
  • 2000 - Sharan B. Merriam and Rosemary S. Caffarella for Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.
  • 1999 - Daniel D. Pratt for Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education. Malabar, FL: Krieger, 1997.
  • 1998 - B. Allan Quigley for Rethinking Adult Literacy Education: The Critical Need for Practice-Based Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1997.
  • 1997 - Sharan B. Merriam and Ralph G. Brockett for The Profession and Practice of Adult Education: An Introduction. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.
  • 1996 - Stephen Brookfield for Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995.
  • 1995 - Michael Newman for Defining the Enemy: Adult Education in Social Action. Sydney, Australia: Stewart Victor Publishing, 1994.
  • 1994 - Fred M. Schied for Learning in Social Context: Workers and Adult Education in Nineteenth Century Chicago. DeKalb, IL: LEPS Press, 1993.
  • 1993 - Michael Newman for The Third Contract: Theory and Practice in Trade Union Training. Sydney,
    Australia: Stewart Victor Publishing, 1993.
  • 1992 - Mechthild Hart for Working and Educating for Life: Feminist and International Perspectives on Adult Education. New York: Routledge, Chapman, and Hall, 1992.
  • 1991 - Philip C. Candy for Self-Direction for Lifelong Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.
  • 1990 - Mark Tennant for Psychology and Adult Learning. New York: Routledge, 1990.
  • 1989
    • Stephen D. Brookfield for Developing Critical Thinkers: Challenging Adults to Explore Alternative Ways of Thinking and Acting. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987.
    • Ronald Cervero for Effective Continuing Education for Professionals. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988.
  • 1988 - Peter Jarvis for Adult Learning in the Social Context. New York: Croom Helm, 1987.
  • 1987 - Laurent A. Daloz for Effective Teaching and Mentoring: Realizing the Power of Adult Learning Experiences. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.
  • 1986 - Stephen D. Brookfield for Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1986.
  • 1985 - Gordon Darkenwald and Sharan Merriam for Adult Education: Foundations of Practice. New York: Harper and Row, 1982.
  • 1984 - Huey B. Long for Adult Learning: Research and Practice. New York: Cambridge, 1983.
  • 1983 - Robert M Smith for Learning How to Learn: Applied Theory for Adults. Chicago: Follett, 1982.



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