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Keynote Speaker - Dr. Dan Pratt
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2017 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Dan Pratt, Professor Emeritus (Education) and Senior Scholar (Medicine) at the University of British Columbia, will be presenting our closing keynote speech on Friday, November 3 from 11:30 to 1:00. Throughout his career, Dr. Pratt has explored teaching and learning across variations in disciplinary traditions, professional contexts, and social and cultural norms. He has contributed to the professional development of countless adult educators through workshops and his award-winning book, “Five Perspectives on Teaching in Adult and Higher Education”.  I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Dan about a variety of topics and hope you enjoy learning more about this thoughtful and influential adult educator.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Dan Pratt

1. This year’s conference theme speaks to the unifying aspects of the field.  Which of those aspects do you find most striking or important?

For me, ‘commitment' is the most unifying aspect of adult education.  Talk to any adult educator and you get a sense of it — commitment to their learners, first and foremost.  Second, commitment to a wide range of adult education purposes and contexts - from ABE to professional training; from small local efforts to national and international efforts.  And an enduring commitment to social justice.  That’s what makes adult education unique within the broader fields of education and training. 

2. Many adult educators come to the field from a variety of professional backgrounds. Can you describe your path into adult education?  

I started as an elementary school teacher, teaching 3rd grade and then 6th grade. While doing my Ph.D. at the University of Washington, I was employed teaching in the workplace for a company in Seattle.  But the most influential part of my career was in the adult education department at the University of British Columbia.  My colleagues and students taught me most everything I know about adult education.  Most recently, my work has focused on education in the health professions, where I hold a post-retirement position helping others with their scholarly work. 

3. Could you share some of the highlights of your keynote address?  

Replacing an ‘orthodoxy of the good’ with a plurality of the good in teaching; and finding out what is essential for effective teaching across that plurality.

4. Finally, what are you looking forward to at the 66th Annual AAACE Conference?  

Most of all, I’m looking forward to attending sessions, small and large, to listen and learn about what’s important to people.  That’s why I asked that my talk come at the end, rather than than at the start of the conference.  I need and want to listen before I speak.  


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