Fonds 1810 - Alan Thomas fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA UTA 1810

Title

Alan Thomas fonds

Date(s)

  • 1944-2009 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

3.048 m of textual and graphic records (20 boxes)

Context area

Name of creator

(1928-)

Biographical history

Alan Miller Thomas was born 26 June 1928 in Toronto. After attending preparatory and secondary school at Upper Canada College, Thomas studied English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto and briefly worked in Canadian publishing (as educational representative for Copp Clark Publishing and managing editor of Canadian Life) before pursuing a Masters and PhD in Education at Columbia University. Of his career, Thomas has remarked, “I had no idea what I should become. I fell into Adult Education as a vocation and as a cause. I never looked back. The study of learning as a culture came naturally.” Thomas is the founder and past President of the Carold Institute and has been a professor of adult education at OISE for over thirty years. He was a contributing editor to foundational textbooks on adult education, including "Learning for Life", and has held executive and board positions with the Canadian Association for Adult Education and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Dr. Thomas is perhaps best known for his role in developing Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) in the community college system - whereby individuals can have life experience and non-institutional learning acknowledged within formal educational settings. On his vocation as an advocate of education, Thomas remarked in 2002, “What seemed to me to be the constant was learning itself. For me, then and since, Learning was to Education, adult or child-centred, as physics was to engineering. The more fundamental element. I had begun the voyage, that resulted 30 years later in my book, “Beyond Education” to free Learning from the grip of psychologists, and to explore what has become, the culture of learning.”

He received the Order of Canada in 1982. He was also involved in the National Advisory Council of Voluntary Action and was chairman of the televised project “People Talking Back.”

TIMELINE

26 June 1928 Alan Miller Thomas born in Toronto, ON

1933-1936 John Ross Robertson Public School

1937 Forest Hill Public School

1938-1939 Upper Canada College (prep)

1940-1945 Upper Canada College (secondary)

1949 B.A. (English and Philosophy), University of Toronto

1949-1951 Educational Representative, Copp Clark Publishing Company

1949-1951 Managing Editor, Canadian Life

1953-1955 Assistant to the Director, Canadian Association for Adult Education

1954 M.A. (History of Education), Columbia University

1954 Education Director (Shipboard), Council on Student Travel, New York

1955 Instructor, Teachers’ College, Columbia University, Foundations of Education

1955 Ford Foundation Fellowship in Adult Education

1956-1961 Assistant Professor, College of Education, UBC
Supervisor of Communications Studies and General Administration, Department of Extension, UBC

1961 Associate Executive Director, Canadian Association for Adult Education

1961-1969 Executive Director, Canadian Association for Adult Education

1964 PhD (Social Psychology), Columbia University 1964

1967-1968 Commonwealth Foundation Fellowship for Travel and Teaching in East Africa

1969 Honourary Life Membership, Canadian Association or Adult Education

1971-1972 Chair of Department of Adult Education, OISE (part-time)

1972-1979 Chair of Department of Adult Education, OISE

1973-1982 Board of Directors, Canadian Association for Adult Education

1973 – 1993 Professor of Adult Education (OISE)

1976 Silver Jubilee Medal for Voluntary Service

1979-1980 Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, Centre for Continuing Education, Canberra, Australia

1980 – 198? Participant at Large, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

1982 Received Order of Canada

1982 Chairman, Feasibility Committee, McLuhan-Teleglobe Canada Prize

1982 Kellogg Fellow, International Council for Adult Education

1982-1988 Joint Council on Education, OISE and University of Toronto

1983 – 198? Editorial Board, Journal of Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (Saskatoon, SK)

1983-1985 Director, First Global Learning Symposium, OISE, United Nations University, Canadian International Development Agency, Toronto, ON, April 28-May 1, 1985

1985-1987 President, Leadership in Learning Options for Older People (LLOOP)

1984-1988 Executive Committee, Canadian Commission for UNESCO

1985 Instructor in Adult Education, Summer School, UBC

1985-1986 Chairman, Advisory Committee: Project Report, For Adults Only, Ministry of Colleges and Universities, Toronto, ON

1986-1987 Task Force on the Impact of The Educational Amendment Act (1986) on School Board Adult Education in Ontario, Ontario Association for Adult Education

1986-1990 Associate Managing Editor, Canadian Journal for the study of adult education / la Revue canadienne pour l’etude de l’education des adultes

1987 Honourary Diploma, Humber College of Applied Arts and Technology

1987- 199? Editorial Board, International Journal of Life Long Education (London, England)

1988- 199? Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Ontario Association for Continuing Education

1988-1990 Consultant, National Task Force on Diabetes Education, Heath and Welfare, Canada

1988-1990 Consultant, IDRC, North-South Project, Gemini Awards Project

1989 Editorial Board, International Journal of Lifelong Education (UK)

1989 Editorial Board, Studies in Continuing Education (Australia)

1990 Travelling Scholarship, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

1991 Centennial Medal for Contribution to Canada

1991 Participant, Canadian Diabetic Association, Board of Certification Program for Diabetic Education

1991- 199? Executive Vice-President and Secretary Treasurer, The Carold Institute for the Study of Voluntary Action and Organizations in Canada

1991-1992 Managing Editor, Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education / la Revue canadienne pour l’etude de l’education des adultes

1991-1994 Participant Committee for the Development of Prior Learning Assessment, Council of Regents of Colleges and Applied Arts and Technology

1992-1994 Participant, Review and Project Direction Committee, Thai-Canada Linkage Project, CIDA

1992-1993 Participant, Advisory Committee on Prior Learning Assessment, Council of Regents, Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario

1992-1993 Participant, Provostial Committee for the Review of Continuing Education, University of Toronto

1993 Journal Award, Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education for “The Utilization of Prior Learning Assessment in Canada”

1993-1994 Member, Life Long Learning Sub-Commission, Advisory Council to Premier of Ontario on Economic Renewal

1993-1994 Participant, Premier’s Council on Economic Renewal, Improving Service to the Learner as Customer Working Group

1993-1994 Participant, Board of the Centre for Christian Studies, Toronto, ON

1993-1994 Consultant, Committee to Review Regional Colleges, Province of Saskatchewan

1993-1994 Selection Committee, CIDA Linkage Program, Canada-Thailand

1993-1995 Editorial Board, Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education / la Revue canadienne pour l’etude de l’education des adultes

1993-1995 Participant, Steering Committee, WETV, Global Access Television Service Research and Development Project, IDRC.

1994 Member Emeritus, Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education

1995 Advisory Task Force on Prior Learning Assessment, Council of Ontario Universities

1996-2001 Board Member (Vice-Chair – Programs) Elderhostel, Canada: New Routes to Learning, Canada)

1998-2005 President & Secretary-Treasurer, The Carold Institute for The Study of Voluntary Action and Organizations, Canada

1999- 2005 Board Member, The Toronto Adult Students Association

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of research notes, draft articles, published articles, reports, budgets and correspondence created and accumulated by Alan Thomas in the course of his activities as a student, scholar and professor of adult education and an advocate for adult education. He was a contributing editor to foundational textbooks on adult education, including “Learning for Life,” and has held executive and board positions with the Canadian Association for Adult Education and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. Dr. Thomas is perhaps best known for his role in developing Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR) in the community college system – whereby individuals can have life experience and non-institutional learning acknowledged and accredited within formal educational settings.

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Accruals

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Conditions governing access

Open

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Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession

B2012-0007

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