Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The Learning Adult: Building and Reflecting on the Work of Peter Jarvis

Holford, John; Milana, Marcella; Waller, Richard; Webb, Susan


John Holford

Marcella Milana

Susan Webb


Peter Jarvis is a towering figure in adult and lifelong education and a leading and original theorist of learning. This book explores the breadth and significance of his work. Sixteen chapters by leading international scholars explain and engage critically with his theorisation of learning, and with his extensive writings on the sociology, politics, ethics and history of adult education, and on professional education, lifelong learning and the learning society. The authors discuss his ideas, their influence and origins. They cover his contribution to learning theory, the recurring ethical themes in his writing, and the implications of his work for areas such as the education of migrants. They explore his global engagement as a scholar not only in different areas of lifelong education, but across the world: much-travelled, Peter Jarvis has supported the growth of adult education as a humane profession – as well as a field of study – in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australasia, as well as Europe. They also address the intense humanism of his work, which has been continually informed by theological and ethical concerns: though he taught for three decades at the University of Surrey, where he was Head of the Department of Educational Studies and is now Emeritus Professor, he has been a Minister of the Methodist Church for over half a century.


Holford, J., Milana, M., Waller, R., & Webb, S. (2018). The Learning Adult: Building and Reflecting on the Work of Peter Jarvis. Routledge

Book Type Authored Book
Publication Date May 15, 2018
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
ISBN 9781138545267
Keywords Peter Jarvis, adult education, learning theory, lifelong learning, learning society, professional education, lifelong education
Public URL
Publisher URL