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 Title Page
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Title: Outline of a community survey for program planning in adult education
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082731/00002
 Material Information
Title: Outline of a community survey for program planning in adult education
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Hand, Samuel E.
Publisher: State Dept. of Education,
Place of Publication: Tallahassee,
Publication Date: 1968
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Bibliographic ID: UF00082731
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Table of Contents
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    Back Cover
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Full Text



State Superintendent



APRIL, 1968


of a









Samuel E. Hand, Ed.D


CARL W. PROEHL, Assistant Superintendent



APRIL, 1968

3 7 5 00 257

Introduction ............................................................. iii

An Outline of a Community Survey......................................... 1

The History and Setting of the Community............................. 1

What to Study .................................................. 1

The Site..... .............................................. 1
The Original Settlement.................................... 1
The First Settlers ......................................... 1
Early Government........................................... 1
Traditions and Values ...................................... 2
Significant Events in Life of Community................... 2

Sources of Information......................................... 3
Implications for the Adult Educator............................ 3

The People.......................................................... 4

What to Study.................... ................... ........ 4

Characteristics of the Population.......................... 4
Labor Force............................................... 5

Sources of Information........................................ 6
Implications for the Adult Educator............................ 6

The Economic Structure................................................ 7

What to Study................................................. 7

Business and Industry...................................... 7

Economic Outlook for the Future................................ 12
Sources of Information ......................................... 14
Implications for the Adult Educator............................. 14

The Functional Operations ............................................ 16

What to Study ..................................................... 16

Government ................................................... 16
Health ....................................................... 19
Social Welfare............................................. 22
Education.................................................... 24
Religion ................................................... 29
Housing...................................................... 29
Recreation ................................................. 31
Community Groups........................................... 33
Community Power Structure.................................... 35

Sources of Information........................................... 35
Implications for the Adult Educator............................... 37

Conclusions ........................................................... 40


The importance of thorough and continuing study of the community as a
basis for program planning in adult education is becoming increasingly
apparent. Adult educators are finding that the degree of participation
in and support of local adult education programs is proportionate to the
extent to which these programs are geared to the real life problems,
interests, and needs of the communities they serve.

There are also other compelling reasons for systematic community study
in adult education. Sociologists have long recognized that the community
exercises great influence on the development of the human personality.
Along with the family, it exerts a dominant influence on the development
of attitudes, speech patterns, prejudices, and points of view. The
individual, in fact, is essentially a product of his community, and his
chances for becoming a leader and a guide to its proper development
depend upon his continuous intellectual growth and participation with
others in organized community life. Adult education can and should
become a principal medium through which this.growth and development
take place. It should become an instrumentality for bringing about
improved community living in many ways.

Another important reason for community study is the fact that a demo-
cratic society depends for its existence upon citizen participation, and
no better way has been found to achieve widespread and enlightened
citizen participation than through involvement in the study of community
problems. It is here that adult education comes alive and takes on real
meaning and purpose for many individuals.

A third compelling reason for systematic study of the community is the
fact that the great social problems of our times can be, and usually
are, illustrated with the context of community life, and it is at this
level that they can best be understood and dealt with by the ordinary
individual. Adult education programs, if properly planned, can provide
the opportunity for studying community problems and for achieving a more
satisfactory understanding and solution to them.

Finally, all communities differ and an educational program designed for
one community will not necessarily accommodate the needs of another. Each
community deserves, and in fact requires, its own individually tailored
program. For these and other reasons, community study has become an
indispensable prerequisite to the planning of socially useful programs of
adult education.

With the above considerations in mind, we have prepared an outline for
community study with the hope that it will be suggestive and helpful to
adult educators in carrying out their responsibilities in connection with
adult education program planning. In this outline we have suggested
the kinds of information and data about the community which will be
needed by the adult educator and his staff if they are to do a sound
professional job of program planning. We hasten to state that neither
the content of the outline itself nor the list of suggested sources of
information are considered complete or adequate for all situations.
In fact, certain portions of t he outline may not be applicable at all,
or may be of negligible importance, in some situations. We recognize,
however, that the variations between communities require that a general
outline for community study include a wide variety of information, parts
of which will vary in their application between communities.

It should be pointed out, too, that the job of studying the community
for program planning purposes is a never ending one. Each succeeding
year brings new developments in certain aspects of the life of every
community, and with each development there are implications for change
in the adult education program. The job of director of adult education,
therefore, requires that he keep abreast of the significant changes as
they occur in his community, and interpret these changes in terms of
their implications for adult education program activities. His only
hope for accomplishing this is through thorough and continuing study of
the community.

In studying his community and in the interpretation of his findings, the
adult educator must enlist the aid of other individuals and groups
within his community. In some instances, advisory committees and study
groups render valuable assistance, both in gathering information about
the community and in helping interpret it in terms of program activities.
The adult educator may also utilize community study as an educational
process by means of which he can provide not only the opportunity for
educational self-improvement or many individual citizens, but also to
awaken citizen interest in the community which will result in social
action leading to improved community living.

How, then, does the adult educator proceed? What are the areas of
community life that he should explore? What dimensions of the community
should he examine? What individuals, groups and agencies of the com-
munity should he engage to assist him? With such questions in mind, we
have sought to delineate the kinds of information and data about the com-
munity which will have significance for the adult educator as he seeks to
develop an appropriate and meaningful program of adult education.


I. The History And Setting Of the Community

A. What to Study

1. The Site

a. Location (characteristics and possibilities for growth)
b. Boundaries (identify and study their significance)
c. Area (size and relation to neighboring areas)
d. Climate (temperature, rainfall, length of growing season)
e. Water supply and safety (current and potential)
f. Accessibility (communication and transportation
facilities in and out)
g. Characteristics of the soil (type and fertility)
h. Topographical characteristics (barriers to natural
i. Special scenic attractions
j. Mineral deposits (kind and extent)
k. Wildlife (kind and extent)

2. The Original Settlement

a. Reasons for original settlement
b. Significant incidents or events in connection with
c. Location of first homes

3. The First Settlers

a. Who were they and from where did they come?
b. What people, if any, did they displace?
c. What significant practices, beliefs, and attitudes did
they bring with them?
d. What significant elements of the old culture have been
retained, such as folk customs, food habits, economic
values, et cetera?

4. Early Government

a. Initial governmental structure
b. First elective positions (how elected; for how long;
c. Date of incorporation as town or city

5. Traditions and Values

a. How and to what extent is the general "tone" of the
community influenced by attitudes and values retained
from original settlers of the community?
b. What new traditions or values did later groups of arrivals
bring which affected community life in ways that are
currently discernible?
c. Are there legends about local happenings which tend to be
passed from person to person? What are they?
d, What particular festivals, special historical celebrations,
or commemorations give color and richness to the social
life of the community? Trace their origin and local
e. What colorful customs are practiced in the community,
either by some religious or ethnic group, or by the
community as a whole?
f. What meaning does the community attach to these values?
Freedom Progress
Individualism Patriotism
Democracy Happiness
Humanitarianism Practicality
Material values Conformity
Success Formal association
Education Religion
g. What characteristics does the community rate most highly
in the people that it holds in esteem?
Honesty Wealth
Industriousness Spirituality
Generosity Political power
Educational attainment Community mindedness
Philanthropic activity Nationality
Industrial leadership Type of occupation
Musical, artistic, or Athletic attainment
literary accomplishment

6. Significant Events in Life of Community
a. Who were the notable persons in early years?
b. What places in the community were scenes of interesting
historical events?
c. What persons have held or now hold positions or render
service which have earned recognition outside the area?
d. How many residents now living in the community are listed
in the latest edition of Who's Who in America?
e. What outstanding contribution has the community made to
the state or the nation?
f. In what ways is the community contributing to current

B. Sources of Information

1. Old (pioneer) settlers
2. Local newspaper files
3. Village, town, city, county, and state histories
4. Family histories and biographies
5. Local libraries
6. Military records
7. Anniversary addresses
8. Maps, atlases, and gazettes
9. Court records
10. Interviews with people familiar with facts
11. Local governmental units

C. Implications for the Adult Educator

The present life of any community can be understood better when
viewed in the light of its historical perspective. People are
usually interested in their past, and historical facts may well
become the motivating force for a program of community improvement.

By the same token we also know that the strength of tradition and
cleavages with the past often prevent efficient and needed
solutions from being utilized on existing problems. Many of the
values and ideals which now characterize a community are traditional;
therefore, the adult educator must distinguish those that have grown
out of the early history of the group from those that have been
accepted in more recent times, for the old traditions tend to have
a stronger hold on the people than the new.

He must know who the "old families" are, what it is they cherish,
and, if so, why they resist change. It is, of course, possible in
some instances that a community may have too little sense of
identity with the past. In such a case, it may lack a powerful
force that builds stability and morale which are essential to
continued mutual activity in the common interest.

It is easy to overlook the importance of geographical factors in
the development of community life. The presence of a particular
type of soil, of certain minerals in the earth, the junction of
rivers, natural harbors, or of special scenic attractions may be
of crucial importance in forming the community. Such factors may
influence the size and character of the population and determine
its industries.

Communities are sometimes characterized by the things in which they
are most interested, the situations, qualities, or conditions which
they value. These community values are hard to identify, but they
are important to anyone who is trying to work professionally with

the community in any type of an action program. Certain programs
may be doomed because they simply do not fit in with the dominant
values of that community. The adult educator must identify the
value base and design his program in terms of it.

II. The People

A. What to Study

1. Characteristics of the population

a. What is the total population of the community?
b. How does present population compare with that of ten
years ago? What factors account for the change?
c. What is the sex ratio? If unbalanced, what accounts
for it?
d. What per cent of the population is above fifteen
years of age? Above twenty-four years of age?
Beyond sixty-five years of age? How does this compare
for the state and the nation?
e. What is the population density by area or precinct?
f. What factors account for location of areas of greatest
population density?
g. What is the average number of people per household?
h. Are people of distinct racial, occupational, or
religious groups collected in specified areas?
Identify each such area.
i. Tabulate the number and per cent of total community
population represented by each of the following groups:

Precinct White Negro Foreign-born Total
or % % %
District No. Total No. Total No. Total No. Per Cent

j. During the past decade, what was the net increase or
decrease in population due to births and deaths? Due
to migration?
k. What nationalities in the community are increasing?
1. How many foreign-born persons twenty-one years of age
and older are there in the community?
m. How many of these have been naturalized?
n. What is the distribution of the population of your
community according to residence--urban, rural non-farm,
rural farm?

o. What is the median number of years of school completed by
persons twenty-five years of age and over, in your
community, according to age, color, and sex?
p. Tabulate the marital status of all individuals fourteen
years of age and older, male and female. From this, how
many and what per cent according to age, color, and sex
are single, married widowed or divorced?
q. What is the percentage of divorces among the white and
Negro population of the community?

2. Labor Force

a. What is the size of the labor force?
(1) Percentage of total population? Male? Female?
(2) Number and percentage of persons employed by
someone else?
(3) Number and percentage of self-employed persons?
(4) Number and percentage of persons who are employed
full-time, part-time, seasonally?
(5) Number and percentage of employed persons who work
in this community, and the number and percentage
who work in some other community?

b. Total number of unemployed persons in the community at
the present time; that is, persons who are employable,
but out of a job?
(1) Percentage of total labor force?
(2) Principal reasons for unemployment?
(3) Seasonal variations--get details.

c. Classification of employed persons by type of economic
(1) Percentage employed in agriculture?
(2) Percentage engaged in industry?
(3) Percentage engaged retail and wholesale trades
and community services?
(4) Percentage engaged in professional services?

d. Number and percentage of persons in the local labor force
who are union organized?
(1) What unions are represented?

e. Income data
(1) Per capital income?
(2) Total and per capital bank deposits?
(3) Median income of families and unrelated individuals?
(4) Percentage of families having less than $2,000
annual income?
(5) Percentage of population filing income tax returns?

(6) Average wage scales?
(7) Compare per capital income, per capital bank deposits,
and wage scales with similar information for other
communities, counties, the state, and nation.
(8) Effective buying power of the local population.
(Total income less taxes.)

B. Sources of Information

1. United States Census of Population: 1950. For Florida
data see:

a. P-AO1, Florida--Number of Inhabitants
b. P-BIO, Florida--General Characteristics
c. P-CO1, Florida--Detailed Characteristics

2. State Bureau of Vital Statistics

C. Implications for the Adult Educator

Knowing the character and trends of the population of the
community, with the underlying causes, the local adult educator
has a more complete knowledge of the fundamental social forces
at work in the area and he is then in better position to
anticipate the educational needs and interests of the adult
population. Population data aids the adult educator in
predicting future trends, which is essential since programs of
various social agencies in the community are affected by changes
in population size and characteristics.

The age and sex of the population may profoundly affect the
community's organized life. Many rural communities, for
example, find themselves with a relatively high proportion of
very young and very old people. In addition to placing a
heavy economic burden upon the community, such a population
structure would materially limit the nature of the adult
education program to those activities which meet the needs and
interests of older people.

Some communities have disproportionately large numbers of males
or females in the population. Obviously, when such a situation
exists, the sex mores and behavior in the community will probably
differ from those where the ratio is more evenly balanced. The
adjustment or reaction of a community to such an imbalance may
materially influence the content of programs or even the time
of day at which such activities might be offered.

The number and kind of people in a community have a great
influence on the type of social living. In general, the higher
the concentration of people in a given area, the greater the

degree of specialization. Also, high population density usually
means that people will be less well acquainted with others in
their immediate vicinity. A prevailing high degree of
specialization will influence program design, while comparative
isolation makes participation and involvement in the program
more difficult to achieve.

As the population of a community increases, greater varieties
and amounts of goods need to be produced and more services
of various kinds are required. Relationships of individuals
even within a single occupation tend to become indirect, and,
hence, the difficulty is increased of evaluating the activity
of one group in comparison with others. Such conditions tend
to favor the development of special interest groups, which
form organizations to promote their special interests. The
adult educator must design his program to serve the needs of
these specialized groups.

The educational level of the population greatly influences
community welfare, particularly in its civic, social, and
vocational aspects. Participation in community affairs is
highly correlated with level of formal education, the higher
the level of education, the greater the extent of participation.
Moreover, the nature and structure of community organizations,
as well as patterns of affiliation, are strongly influenced by
levels of education. In practical terms this means that the
uneducated, unskilled person lives differently in many respects
from more highly educated industrial technicians and professional
persons. The adult education program will necessarily vary

Where the community consists almost entirely of white, native-
born, long-time residents, program planning is comparatively
simple. But where the population is heavily mixed, with
concentrations of "colonies" of race or nationality groups
established at various points, the job of building a "com-
munity" program becomes more difficult. It is important for
the adult educator to know the proportional representation of
each national and racial group, the areas of concentration, and
to determine the distinctive mores, customs, and living con-
ditions of each such group. Only then can he discern ways and
means for his program to serve these groups.

III. The Economic Structure

A. What to Study

1. Business and industry

a. Manufacturing

(1) Tabulate the following information for manufacturing
firms in the community:

Type Total No. Employed No. Self
of No. for Wages Employed Total Employed
Mfg. Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other


(2) What is the total payroll of all manufacturing firms

b. Retail businesses

(1) Tabulate the following information for retail
business firms in the community:

Type Total No. Employed No. Self
Retail No. for Wages Employed Total Employed
Business Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other


c. Wholesale businesses

(1) Tabulate the following information for wholesale
business firms in the community:

Type Total No. Employed No. Self
W'sale No. for Wages Employed Total Employed
Business Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other


(2) What is the total payroll of all wholesale firms?

d. Warehouses

(1) Tabulate the following information for warehouses
in the community:

Type Total No. Employed No. Self
Ware- No. for wages Employed
house Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other


(2) What is the total payroll of all warehouses?

e. Banks, trust companies, and savings and loan associations

(1) Tabulate the following information:

Kind Capital No. Self No. Employed
of Total and Approx. Employed for Wages
Bank No. Surplus Deposits Male Female Male Female


(2) Total number employed, all banks, trust companies,
and savings and loan associations?
(3) Total payroll, all banks, trust companies, and
savings and loan associations?

f. Office businesses and professions (selling service
rather than commodities):

(1) Tabulate the following:

Kind No. No. Self No. Employed Total
of of Employed for Wages Employed
Firm Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other




et cetera


(2) Total payroll of office business and professional

g. Hotels and restaurants

(1) Tabulate the following:

Kind of No. of No. of No. Self No. Employed
Business No. Rooms Dining Employed for Wages
Rooms Male Female Male Female


Restaurants XXX

(2) Total payroll of hotels and restaurants?

h. Natural resource industries

(1) Agriculture
(a) How many people in the community are engaged in
in farming? What percentage of the people does
this represent?
(b) What percentage own their farms?
(c) What is the average size farm?
(d) What percentage of the farms are mortgaged?
(e) What are the principal types of farming being done?
(f) What is the general character of the soil in the
(g) To what extent are labor-saving devices and
machinery used on the farms?

(h) List the leading agricultural products of the
community and show the approximate amount and
per cent of income from the sale of each.

(i) What farm organizations are found in the community?
List as follows:

Name of Organization


(j) What happened between the last two federal census
reports with respect to migration from farms in the
(k) What percentage of the land area of your county is
in forests? What percentage of this was burned
over last year? Approximate the loss.
(1) What is the general relation of folk knowledge to
science in agriculture in the area?

(2) Mineral industries

(a) Tabulate the following information about the
mineral industries operating in the community:

Type Approximate Annual
of Mineral No. of No. of Employees Approx. Volume of
Industry Companies Male Female Payroll Business


(3) Timber
(a) How many people are engaged in the production and
sale of timber? Processing and shipping?
(b) What are the principal kinds grown locally?
(c) What is the approximate annual yield of timber?
Approximate value?
(d) How much and what kinds of timber are imported?

(4) Water power
(a) List the sources of water power in the area.


(b) What is the potential horsepower?
(c) What part is now being developed?
(d) What is the prevailing local interpretation of the
continued availability? Permanent supply? The
possibilities for future development?

(5) Transportation and communication
(a) Tabulate the following information for the various
transportation and communication firms with offices
or terminals in your community:

Kind of No. No. Self No. Employed Total
Firm of Employed for Wages Employed
Firms Male Female Male Female White Negro Other


(b) What is the total community payroll among trans-
portation and communication businesses?
(c) How many private airplanes are there in your
(d) What per cent of the families of the community own
(e) What is the number of adult people per automobile
in the community?
(f) How many telephones are there in the community?
(g) What percentage of homes have telephones?
(h) How do rates compare with other communities?
(j) List the newspapers distributed in your community.
(k) What is the circulation of your local paperss?
(1) Is your local paper one of a chain?
(m) Are its policies consistent and well-known?

B. Economic Outlook for the Future

1. Is your local trade center area attractive or unattractive?
What makes it so?

2. How does it rate on the following?

a. Parking space for shoppers
b. Adequate public transit facilities within the trade center
and surrounding area
c. Attractiveness of store fronts
d. Variety of stores
e. Stores well stocked
f. Courteous and prompt service
g. Sufficient advertising within trade area
h. Sensitivity to customer needs

3. Are there any types of professional service or facilities, such
as banking facilities, legal service, medical service, and so on,
whose presence might attract people to the community for other
goods and services as well? What are they?

4. What is lacking in the trade center that causes people to go else-
where for goods and services that might be made available locally?

5. What types of industry have been most successful in your community?

6. What industries have failed in the community over the past twenty
years? Why?

7. Are there any conditions working to the disadvantage of industries
presently located in the community, such as the following?

a. Inadequate supply of required labor skill
b. Antiquated zoning laws
c. Inadequate supply of water, gas, or other utilities
d. Inadequate sewage disposal
e. Inadequate school and community facilities
f. Lack of cooperation by local government or citizens

8. To what extent are present industries of the community seasonal in
their operation? Is the over-all economy of the community materially
affected (unbalanced) as a result?

9. Identify any other types of disalignment in the present industrial
structure of your community, such as:

a. Overdependence on a particular industry
b. Industries which place undue strain on existing obtainable
sewage, water, and utilities

10. What type of industry is needed to complete or balance your com-
munity's industrial foundation?

11. What special advantages can your community offer for certain types
of industry?*,,

12. Do you have a community organization concerned with industrial
development? What is it and how active is it?

13. Which, if any, of the following steps have been taken by your
community to improve its industrial base:

a. Organization of a special development commission
b. Assembling of a list of prospective industries for your
c. Contact with industrial "prospects"
d. Engaging an industrial development consultant
e. Community advertising in national publications

C. Sources of information

Chamber of commerce
Retail merchant's association
Individual industries (records and reports)
Business leaders (personal interviews)
Professional leaders and organizations
Civic leaders, clubs and associations
County agricultural and home demonstration agencies
Labor unions (statistics, operations, labor-management relations)
City business directories
City telephone directories
Newspapers and files
State geologist and geological survey
State forester's office
Florida State Department of Education bulletins
Know Florida
Florida--Wealth or Waste
Florida School Bulletin, Vol. VIII, No. 2, 1945
Federal and State census reports
The Florida Handbook, by Allen Morris, published by the Peninsular
Publishing Company, Tallahassee
The U. S. Census of Agriculture, Volumes 1 and 2, Florida Extracts
The U. S. Census of Business, Florida Extracts: Volume 3 for retail
trade; Volume 5 for wholesale trade; Volumes 6 and 7 for service
The U. S. Census of Manufacturers, Volume 3, Florida Extract
Previous Business and industrial surveys of the community

D. Implications for the Adult Educator.

The economic structure is both the fuel and the flame of community
life. In a very large measure it determines the level of community
living and the breadth and depth of community activities. It pro-
vides the means whereby the people accommodate their basic needs of
food, clothing, and shelter, and determines the extent to which they

can go beyond that point. Unless it is kept under constant study
and on an even keel, the slightest misfortune or period of depression
can bring great distress to a community.

The technological advances which have occurred during and since World
War II, together with the attendant social, political and economic
changes, have brought many economic complications. Large scale
production, new materials, the increase of capital, the development
of completely new industries, the shifting of labor forces, new
patterns of employer-employee relationships, and changes in markets
and transportation are some of the problems associated with industry
and the many sided business of making a living. The extent to which
the adult educator acquaints himself with the local economic struc-
ture and gains perspective of its problems and needs, will be the
extent to which he is effective in planning a program that will
make its proper contribution to the economy of his community.

The economic structure of a community often produces more problems
than any other segment of community life. Moreover, recent research
has shown that the dominant forces in the power structure of a com-
munity are clearly centered within its economic structure.

The adult educator's job is to identify and understand the problems
that exist within the economic structure of his community, and to
deal with these problems through the machinery of adult education.
Unemployment, poverty, insecurity, the exploitation of labor, waste
of natural resources, labor-management conflicts, and inadequate
production to meet community needs are just a few of the kinds of
problems that emanate from this field. The adult educator should
create the atmosphere in which such problems can be faced realis-
tically and solved democratically by community groups. Only
through continuing study and cooperative action on the part of
individuals and groups concerned can such problems be reduced or
kept to a minimum.

At the same time, and through the same process of continuing liaison
and cooperative study and discussion, the adult educator can learn
of industry's personnel needs, training and retraining requirements,
plans for new plants and new jobs, while they in turn can learn
from him how adult education may serve these needs. The education
of adults and the improvement of community living is a cooperative
social process, and nowhere is the essentiality of the element of
cooperative action more evident than in the training of people for
business and industry through adult education.

By working cooperatively with various community agencies, the adult
educator may bring about a community consciousness of the true
conditions in the community's economic structure and their causes,
and determine the best means whereby improvements can be made. For

example, he may organize discussion groups which will stimulate
interest in (a) a study of the production, marketing, the purchas-
ing of goods and services; (b) group study of gaps in the com-
munity economic structure; (c) study of ways to use federal and
state programs; (d) a study of agricultural planning-and how auch
work is related to the local area as well as to the state, region,
and nation; (e) a study of zoning and planning in relation to schools
and community needs generally; (f) additional sources of income for
the community, such as crafts, specialized farming, roadside stands,
and family industries; and (g) guiding and expanding programs of
existing agencies such as the chamber of commerce, business, labor,
industry, and professional groups to the end that there will be a
better integration of effort in solving the economic problems of
the community.

The adult educator must view the economic structure through the
larger eyes of the "whole" community. Where troublesome elements
appear within the structure which do not respond under normal
processes, he can set the stage for the "heavy artillery" of the
entire community to be brought to bear on it. While the adult
educator must maintain friendly and cooperative relationships
with all elements of business and industry, his primary allegiance
is to the whole community and to the public good.

IV. The Functional Operations

A. What to Study
1. Government

a. Organization of local government

(1) What is the form of the community government? Make
a chart showing its organization and indicate the
relationships between various departments, how much
each department costs the taxpayers, and how the
holder of each office is chosen and the qualifications
(2) How are the various top level positions in the local
government filled?
(3) For the elective offices and boards in the city and
county government, list the following facts:
Office Incumbent(s) Term Salary Duties

b. Voters and Voting

(1) Tabulate the following information about voters and
voting in the community:

(a) Number of eligible voters
(b) Number who have qualified to vote
(c) Percentage of those eligible who have not registered
and qualified to vote
(d) Percentage of those qualified who actually voted in
the last general election
(e) Percentage who voted in the last local election
(f) Number of voters belonging to each political party
represented in the community

c. Finance and Cost of Local Government

(1) What are the main sources of revenue of the local
government? (List in order of importance)

(2) Income of local government

(a) What is the total assessed property valuation?
(b) What is the total tax rate for all purposes?
(c) What is the source of the total tax revenue:
General property (ad valorem taxes)
Personal property
Special assessments
License fees
Total revenue

(d) Other income (such as from distribution of

(3) Annual expenditures of local government (list)

(a) For general government
(b) For police protection
(c) For health protection
(d) For fire protection
(e) For recreation
(f) For social service
(g) For street lighting
(h) For street cleaning
(i) For garbage collection
(j) For other services (list)

(4) Indebtedness of local community

(a) Total bonded debt
(b) For what purpose were bonds issued
(c) What is the amount of temporary indebtedness
(d) What is the amount of the sinking fund
(e) What is the constitutional debt limit

d. Relationship of Municipal to County Government

(1) Describe relationships in such areas as law enforce-
ment, taxes, et cetera

e. Special services

(1) Fire Protection

(a) What was the total amount of fire loss last year?
(b) What is the average loss for the last five years?
(c) What was the number of deaths from fire last year?
(d) How many men in the fire department?
(e) To what extent are the service and equipment

(2) Police Protection

(a) How many policemen are there altogether?
(b) What is the ratio per 1,000 population? How
does this ratio compare with other communities
in Florida?
(c) Number of arrests last year?
(d) Number of convictions resulting in fines only?
(e) Number of convictions resulting in imprisonment?
(f) Number of major crimes not solved in the com-

(3) Streets and Sewers
(a) What is the general condition of the city streets?
(b) What percentage is not paved?
(c) How adequate is the sewer system? What is the
method of sewage disposal?

(4) Utilities

(a) Are all areas of the community served by public
transit? Which are not? Are rates reasonable?
(b) Electricity
Is the plant privately or publicly owned and
How do light and power rates compare with other
areas in the state?
(c) Gas
Is the plant privately or publicly owned?
Are rates in line with other areas?

f. Personnel

(1) Does your government have a merit system for the
selection and promotion of non-policymaking employees?

(2) How is this system organized and administered?

(3) Are all non-policymaking positions under this system?
Which are not?

(4) What provisions are made for the following:

(a) Sick leave, vacation and promotion
(b) In-service training
(c) Leaves of absence for further training

g. Community Participation and Support

(1) Is your town generally known as a "clean" town? Do
people in the community cooperate with the local and
state authorities in the apprehension of law violators?
Are they willing, generally, to aid in their conviction
by testifying truthfully in court?

(2) How is jury selection handled? Does every person
qualified for jury service get called in his proper
order, or does the procedure provide otherwise?

(3) Do women in your community "like" to serve on juries?

(4) Does public opinion in the community uniformly condemn
such infractions of the law as bootlegging, illegal
gambling, hunting out of season, and the sale of
alcohol and cigarettes to minors?

(5) Does public opinion support enforcement of health laws-
including inspection and policing of public dining
establishments--and of forest fire prevention laws?

2. Health

a. Administration

(1) How are the responsibilities for public health
services shared between the city and the county?

(2) Is there a local healt-h officer?

(3) How many health nurses are employed?

(4) How many sanitary-inspectors are there?

b. Finances

(1) What are the total operating expenses of the local
health department? How much city? County?

(2) How is it financed?

c. Public Health Services

(1) List the community health services, such as:

(a) Pre-natal service (clinic)
(b) Infant welfare service (clinic)
(c) Pre-school service (clinic)
(d) School medical service
(e) Dental service
(f) Food and milk control
(g) Garbage collection
(h) Street cleaning
(i) Water supply service
(j) Communicable disease service (clinics)

(2) Of the kinds of clinics you do not have, which are
needed? (Perhaps tonsil clinics, crippled children
clinics, and general disease clinics.)

(3) How often are dairies in your community (county)
inspected by competent officials?

(4) How often are restaurants and lunchrooms inspected?
Do their employees have health certificates?

(5) Are all public buildings, including stores, churches,
schools, et cetera, regularly cleaned and ventilated
with necessary sections screened? Are they free from
rats, roaches, and flies?

(6) What is the relation between health and disease and
full employment, housing conditions, and educational
limitations in your community?

(7) How frequent and how thorough are children's health
examinations conducted, in your schools? Can you
find out what follow-up care, if any, is rendered?

d. Health Agencies

(1) Public

(a) List all public health agencies of the community
and identify services rendered by each.
(b) What additional public health agencies are needed?

(2) Private

(a) List all private health agencies, including private
hospitals, nursing homes, other institutions, and
professional health organizations that serve the
community. Describe the services rendered by each.
(b) Does the community have a local health council?
What are its functions and objectives?
(c) Are other private health agencies needed in the
community? Identify and state purposes.

e. Vital Statistics

(1) What is the annual death rate per 1,000 population?
How does this compare?

(2) What is the total number of deaths for last year?

(3) List the most important causes of death, with the
number of deaths from each cause.

(4) What is the infant mortality rate? Total number of
infant deaths last year? How does this compare with
other communities?

f. Hospitalization and Other Medical Services

(1) How many doctors are there in the community? Dentists?
Trained nurses? How does the ratio of the number of
doctors, dentists, and nurses compare with recommenda-
tions of health authorities?

(2) Is there a municipal hospital?

(3) Are the hospital facilities adequate? If not, wherein
are they inadequate?

(4) How may hospitalization and medical care be obtained
by those unable to pay?

(5) What provisions are made for the mentally ill? Is
there a mental health association in your community?
A mental health clinic?

g. Water Supply

(1) Does the community own a public water system?

(2) What is the source of water? Is it adequate? For
how long?

(3) Are samples taken at regular intervals for testing?
How often? What does the record of these tests show
for the last year?

(4) What percentage of people have water piped into their
homes and what percentage do not?

h. Sewage Disposal

(1) Is the sewage disposal system adequate at present?

(2) Are improvements needed? What are they?

(3) What action is needed to correct the situation?

(4) How are sewage wastes from the community treated?

(5) How many outdoor toilets are there in the community?
What percentage of homes are represented?

(6) What percentage of homes have septic tanks?

3. Social Welfare

a. Juvenile Delinquency

(1) Is there a juvenile court in the community?

(2) Are all cases under sixteen years brought to the
juvenile court?

(3) What provision is made to care for a child that is
taken from his parents and made a ward of the local
Department of Public Welfare?

(4) How are cases involving delinquent children handled?
Does this accommodate the best interest of both the
child and the community?

(5) How many juvenile cases were handled in the community
last year? Male? Female? White? Negro?

(6) List the types and number of offenses with which
juveniles were charged last year.

(7) What percentage of delinquents were first offenders?
Repeaters? Boys? Girls?

(8) What percentage of juvenile delinquents cases have
only mothers living? Only fathers living? Having
neither mother nor father living? Having parents

(9) Do you have a well-trained probation staff in your
juvenile court? Do these officials receive profes-
sional training in social work comparable to that
received by professionals in other fields?

(10). What improvements and developments appear to be needed
to improve your community's program for juvenile

b. Adult Crime

(1) List the types and approximate number of crimes and
misdemeanors in the community for which persons were
convicted last year.

(2) How does the crime rate compare with that of other
communities of comparable size in the state?

(3) Give approximate number of convictions per 1,000
population. What age groups predominate? What race

c. Defectives

(1) How is admission to proper and separate institutions
secured for epileptics, feeble-minded, and insane?
How well are the processes established and understood
by the community?

d. Child Care

(1) What number of children from the community were cared
for last year by institutional agencies?

(2) What number of children from the community are now in
institutions, public and private, for feeble-mindedness?
Crippled? Abandoned? Orphaned?

e. Charities

(1) List the organized charity associations in the com-

(2) How many families are on relief? How many social
workers are there in the community? Are services

4. Education

a. Scope of the Present Program

(1) Tabulate the number of schools and the enrollment of
compulsory school-age youth in your community (county)
according to race and classification of schools, as

White Negro
Type of School Number Enrollment Number Enrollment

Public Elementary

Public Junior High

Public Senior High

Public Jr.-Sr. High

Public Combined
Elem. and High

Technical and Vocat.

Sub-Total: Public

Private (Including
Parochial) Elem.

Private (Including
Parochial) Jr. High

Private (Including
Parochial) Jr.-Sr. Hi

Private (Including
Paroc.) Combined

Private Technical
and/or Vocational

Sub-Total: Private


(2) Tabulate the other schools and enrollments of groups
other than compulsory school age youth in the com-
munity, as follows:

White oln-ed
Type of School Number Enrollment Number Enrollment

Vocational School
Evening and Adult

Sub-Total: Public


Nursery Schools




Sub-Total: Private


(3) List the voluntary agencies that provide adult education
in your community (county) other than strictly vocational,
as included in number (2) above and indicate the number
of people served according to race and type of instruction
offered as follows:

Number of Regular or Primary
Name of Nature of People Temporary Groups
Agency Instruction Served Function Involved

(4) Are there any extension classes being conducted in the
community? List them and tabulate enrollments.

(5) Are there any museums or art exhibits in the community?
Record details. What is the extent of adult participation?

(6) Are there any schools or classes, public, or private,
for atypical children? What is their total enrollment?

(7) Sum up all enrollments in schools and classes listed in
1-6 above and record for white, colored, and total. What
percentage of the total population of the community (county)
does this total enrollment represent? How does this com-
pare with other communities (counties)?

(8) How many school age youth in the county are not enrolled
in school?

(9) How many adult illiterates are there in the county? How
does this compare with other counties in the state?

b. Adequacy of Public Educational Facilities

(1) Buildings and Equipment

(a) Are the public school buildings adequate for the
number of students served? 'Are they over-crowded?
Do they have unused space?

(b) Are the buildings well-maintained and in good state
of repair? Are they kept clean and sanitary?

(c) Do the schools have equipment designed for the age
groups being served? For adults?

(d) Are buildings, equipment, and materials adequate for
the curriculum being offered?
(e) In what condition, generally, is the school equipment?
(f) Are playgrounds of adequate size? Are they reasonably
well equipped?
(g) What provisions are made for maintaining school
grounds and playground facilities? Are these facil-
ities available for community use throughout the
year? Is supervision needed? Provided?
(h) What provisions are made for the replacement and
addition of equipment or supplies necessary to
inaugurate curriculum changes as necessary?
(i) What physical facilities, other than regular school
facilities, are available in the community(county)
for meeting needs of special instruction groups?
(j) What plans are under way for new buildings or additions
to existing buildings?
(k) What seem to be the most acute problems at the present
time with respect to buildings, equipment, and grounds?

2. Curriculum

(a) To what extent does the public school curriculum
appear to reflect the general character, interests,
and needs of the community?
(b) What procedure has been established for curriculum
study and revision? Describe it.
(c) What obvious voids seem to exist in the present
curriculum to which immediate attention should be
given by the community?

c. School Finances

(1) What is the total school budget for the community (county)?

(2) What part (per cent) of the total budget comes from the
state? What part (per cent) comes from local sources?
How do these percentages compare with those of other

(3) Show the amount and per cent of the total budget
represented by each of the following:

(a) Teachers' salaries
(b) Buildings and equipment
(c) Transportation
(d) Current expense
Consumable instructional supplies

(4) What is the total assessed valuation of property in your
community (county)?

(5) How many mills of tax are assessed for school purposes?
How does this compare with other communities (counties)?

(6) What has been the per pupil expenditure for education in
your community (county) for each of the past ten years?
How does this compare with other communities (counties)?

d. Training and Salaries of Teachers

(1) What percentage of the teachers of the community (county)
have less than four years of professional training?

(2) What percentage have four years or more of professional

(3) How do 1 and 2 above compare with other counties of the state?

(4) How does the salary schedule for teachers, principals, and
supervisors of the county compare with that of other counties
of the state of comparable wealth?

e. Miscellaneous

(1) What has been the per cent of teacher turnover in the
community (county) for each of the past five years? How
does this compare with other counties of the state? If
ratio is high, what factors account for it?

(2) Tabulate the county school enrollment by grades and observe
major drop-out points.

(3) How does the drop-out rate in the public schools of your
community (county) compare with that of other counties of
the state? Is there any definite and systematic study of
the drop-out problem under way?

(4) What is the general attitude and willingness of the people
of the community (county) toward liberal financing of the
public schools? Toward adult education in particular?

(5) What appears to be the level of community (citizen) participa-
tion in the school affairs of the community (county? How
does this compare with other areas?

(6) What portion of the enrollment in the technical schools and
colleges of the community (county) come from outside the

(7) What particular effort is being made by the community
(county) to stimulate and provide for continuing education
and training beyond high school?

(8) What percentage of the community's adult population
participates in organized adult education activities? How
does this compare with other counties of the state?

5. Religion

a. Churches and church membership

(1) List the religious denominations in your community.

(2) Approximately what percentage of the population are
church members?

(3) The average church attendance of all churches is what
percentage of the total population?

(4) Are church memberships increasing or decreasing in the
community? How does the increase or decrease compare
with the population change?

(5) How does the appearance of churches in the community
compare with that of schools, theatres, business establish-
ments, factories, and other public buildings?

(6) Which, if any, churches include preponderantly high income
people in their memberships? Which include the low income

b. Religious organizations and services

(1) What religious organizations are there in the community
for men? Women? Young people?

(2) What provisions are made for religious education other
than Sunday Schools?

(3) List the types of services churches are rendering outside
of their regular services. In other words, what are the
community programs or problems with which the churches,
individually, or collectively, are working or with which
they are concerned?

6. Housing

a. Total number of dwelling units in this community

(1) Number in town

(2) Number out of town

(3) Number of dwelling units that are:

(a) Detached houses
(b) Apartments or duplexes
(c) Auto court units intended for regular living quarters
(d) Other rooms not included above

(4) Number of these dwelling units that occupant owned?
Rented? Vacant?

b. Condition of dwelling units in this community

(1) The number in good living condition

(2) The number in poor living condition

c. Number of dwelling units now under construction in the

d. Range of rental prices for a dwelling unit in the community

e. Number of dwelling units in the community that have:

Indoor plumbing No electricity
Outdoor plumbing Running water
Private bathroom No running water
Shared bathroom Hot water heater
Electricity No hot water heater

f. The number of families in this community who have a telephone
and the number who do not.

g. The number of families in the community who own an automobile
and the number who do not.

h. Number and percentage of families who own their homes'

i. What percentage of homes are mortgaged?

j. Does the community have a housing program?

k. Does the community have a recognized housing problem? What is
it, and how acute is it?

7. Recreation

a. Types of recreation

(1) What are the principal recreations that engage the leisure
time of the population of the community?

(2) Which of the above recreations are operated for profit?

(3) Is there a community organization which provides recre-
ational opportunities (without profit) for young people?
Working men? Working women?

(4) What recreational programs are available for below teen-
age youth? Teen-age? Adults? How are these supervised?
Are year-round facilities offered?

(5) Is there a community house, or group of houses, which
serves as a hub for activities of all ages?

(6) Is there a public swimming pool in the community? How is
it managed?

b. Playgrounds

(1) Locate all public playgrounds of the community on a map of
the community. Is there a sufficient number of public
playgrounds? Are they placed according to density of
population? Are they easily accessible? Who maintains
them? Are they adequately staffed? Are they operated
on a year-round basis?

(2) What use is made of streets for play?

(3) To what extent do unimproved lots serve as playgrounds?

(4) What is the attitude of the city government toward
recreational facilities and the use of streets for play?

(5) What percentage of children have no other place for
recreation than the streets in the vicinity of the home?

(6) Does there appear to be any relationship between community
facilities and juvenile delinquency in the community?'
Specify and describe.

c. Athletic facilities

(1) List the number of the following:

(a) Swimming pools
(b) Skating rinks
(c) Bowling alleys
(d) Billiard halls
(e) Supervised dance halls
(f) Gymnasia
(g) Athletic courts

(2) What is the average weekly attendance at each of the
above facilities?

(3) Are school buildings used as recreation centers? Churches?
Would there be serious opposition in the community to
making them so?

d. Cultural entertainment

(1) Does your community have an adequate auditorium with
suitable stage, seats, acoustics, lighting, and other
equipment? Is there a fair rental charge for organi-
zational use?

(2) What church, civic, and school musical societies are
there in the community? Does the community have a group
chorus? A band? Do they present festivals and other
programs with some regularity? How are they financed?

(3) List the regular public concerts given in the community?

(4) List the organizations or agencies in the community
that sponsor seasonal musical entertainment?

(5) Are there any regular public lecture courses given in
the community? What are they?

(6) What organizations sponsor public lectures?

(7) Are there groups of adults in your community interested
in play production? Which groups?

(8) Does the community support amateur plays? How well?

(9) How many theatres are there in the community?

(10) What is the most popular type of cultural entertainment
in the community?

e. Library

(1) Does your community provide a public library? What is
the annual expenditure? How is it financed?

(2) Is the equipment adequate?

(3) What new equipment is needed or desirable?

(4) How many books are there in the library? Are they well
chosen and of sufficient variety?

(5) What is the monthly circulation? What per cent to adults?

(6) What books are found to be most popular--history, fiction,
biography, poetry, science, other?

(7) How are books made available to citizens living at a
distance from the library? Bookmobile? Deposits at

(8) What periodicals are subscribed for by the library? Are
they circulated?

(9) What newspapers are available at the library?

(10) What areas (and groups) are served by the library?

(11) How many people in the community have established library
privileges? How many of these are below twenty-one
years of age, and how many are above? What percentage
of the population does this represent for each age group?

8. Community Groups

a. Formal groups

(1) Civic groups

(a) Tabulate the following information for all organized
civic groups in your community:

Name of No. of When Where Current Community
Group Members Meets Meets Officers Projects

(2) Social Groups

(a) Record the following information about all formally
organized social groups operating within your

Name of No. of When Where Primary Primary Current
Group Members Meets Meets Interest Affiliation Officers

(3) Occupational and professional groups

(a) Record the following information concerning all
occupational and professional organizations formally
operating within your community:

Name of No. of When Where Occ. or Prof. Current Community
Group Members Meets Meets Identified with Officers Activities

(4) Other formal groups

(a) Record the following information for other formally
organized groups functioning within the community, but
which do not properly fall within either of the categor-
ies above (such as patriotic, recreational, veterans,
or garden clubs:)

b. Informal groups

(1) Record the following information for all
you can learn about in your community:

informal groups

Name or No. of Group How When Where Key
Identity Members Affinity Old Meets Meets Members

9. Community Power Structure

a. Who are the generally recognized civic and social leaders of the

b. Who are the generally recognized leaders among the business men
of the community? Among industrial people?

c. Are there evidences of "powers behind the .throne" in community

d. Who are the real, behind the scene, "powers" in the community?
Who really swings the influence on basic community policy?

B. Sources of Information

The following are suggested as sources of information according to
the various kinds of community organizations and services:

Community Government

Community Health

Social Welfare

Local newspaper files
Local libraries
Local governmental units
Local chamber of commerce
Police department
City clerk's office
County supervisor of registration
City merit system director, or civil
service board
City Manager's or Mayor's office
Local fire department

County health department
Community health department
City sanitation department
Local medical society
Chamber of commerce
Health survey reports
State board of health
Bureau of vital statistics
County superintendent of schools
School principals (child health

Local hospitals and clinics
Local newspaper files
Local courts--juvenile, city, county
and circuit court records and officials
Sheriff's and police department
Public health officials
Public welfare workers
Social service institutions
Local charity organizations
Local newspaper files

County superintendent of public
Community school supervisors, principals,
and teachers, (public and private)
Public libraries
Juvenile court officials and records
Local cultural clubs and organizations
Biennial reports of the state superin-
Education tendent of public instruction
Parent-teacher organizations
Local professional educational
Personal visitation and inspection of
school facilities and interviews with
people familiar with facts

Chamber of commerce
State department of education




Community Groups and
Power Structure

Local ministerial association
Individual ministers
Church secretaries
Church organizations

U. S. Census of Housing (most recent
Local chamber of commerce
Local housing authority
Local building contractors'
City safety inspector
City building inspector
Local federal savings and loan

City playground supervisor
City park superintendent
City recreation director or board
Civic and social clubs and leaders
Social service groups
Local cultural organizations or clubs
Local schools
Public library
Local newspaper
Local rod and gun clubs

Presidents and secretaries of civic,
social, and professional organizations
Long-time residents of the community
Newspaper editors and columnists
Newspaper files
City and county commissioners
Chamber of commerce
City planning board
Observation and contacts in coffee
shops, restaurants, recreational
facilities, clubs, and on the

D. Implications to the Adult Educator

The local adult educator will find in the functional operations of
the community many factors which influence the design of his program.
The people of a community are usually interested in the extent and
the level of efficiency of essential community services. This
general interest, when supplemented by their concern over problems

which emanate from these services, provides the motivating influence
for many adult education activities.

Local government is of interest to everyone because everyone is
affected by it. It speaks for the entire community. It impinges at
every point upon the health, education, and welfare of its citizens.
During recent years its activities in these areas have been markedly
increased. In view of these facts, the adult educator should make
provisions for the continuing study of local government in order
that his program may sponsor timely activities which will bring
increased knowledge of government to the people, and thus prepare
them to participate more effectively in the solving of these problems.

An interest in government is usually not lacking among the people of
a community. What is lacking all too often is the knowledge of just
how individuals can make their thinking known about governmental
affairs and contribute to the shaping of community policy. Here is
where adult education can make a valuable contribution. If the
adult educator is alert and skillful in initiating at the right
time, programs which will bring individuals together for discussion
sessions with government officials and leaders in the community, on
matters of current public concern, he will be fulfilling the function
of adult education in the improvement of the democratic process. In
addition to bringing the "feeling of participation" to a great many
individuals who previously did not know how to participate, he will,
if he continues the procedure, develop among the participants higher
and higher levels of enlightenment and skill in the process of
participation. They will gain better understanding of the many pro-
cesses of democratic government and of their role in it. There will
be not only more participation, but more enlightened participation.

In addition to his first task of identifying immediately existing
problems which may be attacked through his program, the adult
educator, in his study of the functional operations of the community,
is also concerned with ways and means by which his program may bring
about improvement in the general quality of community services.
Although crucial problems may not be found in a particular service,
citizen study and evaluation may well determine areas where services
need strengthening, extending, or streamlining. Such may be the
case, for example, in connection with community health services.

Many small communities in recent years have been completely without
medical service because of their inability to attract general medical
practitioners away from the larger centers. Where the adult educator
finds this to be true in his community, his program can be made the
means of kindling the interest and hopes of the people for a change.
A study-discussion group on "How Can We Get a Doctor? may result in
an organized community approach to the problem and the procurement
of much needed medical service, as has been accomplished in many

small communities. Better public understanding and improved com-
munity health services often result from activities which bring
noted health authorities and specialists before public groups for
discussions of health questions which are of particular concern in
the community at a given time. The adult educator has a responsibility
to assist in arranging for such meetings. Topics which are of par-
ticular interest in the community at the time are discussed by
specialists, with the opportunity for questions and discussion from
the group. A well-known young leader of the community may suddenly
die of a heart attack. Local interest in heart trouble suddenly
"zooms." At that moment the adult educator can render valuable
public service by initiating arrangements for a public forum on
"How You can Take Care of Your Heart." The same procedure can be
used for a wide range of other problems. Activities of this nature
may be sponsored or co-sponsored by interested community agencies.

Similarly, in the social welfare services, the adult educator can
cooperate with various social agencies to develop organized co-
operative approaches. There are many adults in the community who
would like to participate in some way in the shaping of policy and
determining eligibility requirements on public assistance programs.
Discussion groups on such questions are often very beneficial, both
in clearing up widespread misunderstanding, as well as in develop-
ing a sounder public policy.

The adult educator should establish and maintain continuing professional
relationships with the churches of his community. Church groups
need the professional skills of the adult educator in their leadership
training programs, and the adult educator should in turn utilize
the contributions which the churches of the community are in position
to make in connection with such adult education activities as
institutes on courtships, marriage, and family relations.

The adult educator's study of the educational programs and resources
of the community should provide him with information on three im-
portant questions. First, what problems exist in the schools about
which the community is especially concerned? Secondly, what agencies
in the community, other than the public schools, are doing adult
education, and what are they doing? Finally, what fields or areas
are not being served; what gaps exist in the over-all program?

Of particular significance to the life of a community are the various
groups and associations of people found within it. The typical com-
munity has many organized groups, and they wield substantial in-
fluence on the affairs of the community. The adult educator must
identify and work with and through these organizations and groups.
But even though these organizations are plentiful in the community,
they do not reach all elements of the population. Various studies
have indicated that only slightly more than half of the adult

Date Due

--, P- oirr-A Ref'ir
population o ... ,i .; h any type of
organization. In fact, except for religious group affiliations,
there are considerably less than half of the people in the smaller,
more rural communities, who belong to formal organization. This
leaves the adult educator with a substantial segment of the population
to reach through means other than organized groups. One approach to
reaching this remaining element is to identify and work through in-
formal groups within the community. These informal groups are more
difficult to identify because they are spontaneously formed and
seldom have established relations with institutional programs. The
adult educator may find that his best approach for reaching and
involving these informal groups is to identify their leaders, try and
get them interested, and capitalize on their influence to involve the
group as a whole. This has proven very successful in many instances.


It can be seen readily that the job of studying and understanding
one's community is no simple task. It involves extensive and con-
tinuous effort; yet, it is essential to sound educational planning.

Actually, the adult educator, in the performance of his role as an
educational agent working with the adult population of his community,
has open to him a choice between two courses of action; on the one
hand, he can operate in isolation, within the framework of the social
institution which harbors him.

On the other hand, he can become a dynamic force for the strengthening
of democracy and the achievement of orderly and intelligent social
change. Should he choose the first course, the adult educator will
not be faced with many problems that are complex in nature or
impossible to handle within the framework of the traditional educational
structure, but neither will he be socially useful. Should he
choose the second course of action, he is faced with the necessity
of understanding the community, that complex social unit in which he
operates, and with intelligent educational planning founded on the
social realities of his community, the adult educator may fulfill his
vital role in the community and in the society.


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