• Paul Kolenick University of Regina


Adult learrning, Just learning society, Learning Society, Metaphor, Two Worlds


The dualistic nature of adult education as serving the instrumental needs of the workplace, for instance, while remaining committed to issues of social justice is examined in light of the Indigenous metaphor of ‘walking in two worlds.’ This Janus-like duality is illustrated at the outset through the Indigenous story of Coyote’s Eyes as a relationship of imbalance, or disequilibrium, between the two worlds served by adult education. In this essay a brief and selective history of colonialism on the Canadian prairie through the Southern Numbered Treaties (1871-1877), and broadly through the White Paper policy of 1969, is considered with respect to its implications for Indigenous peoples and for adult education as educative practice. As a way toward a sense of balance, or equilibrium, between the two masters of instrumentality and social purpose served by adult education, Michael Welton’s vision of a ‘just’ learning society is brought to light as having potential for a renewed vision for adult education as a balanced, equitable educative practice.

Author Biography

Paul Kolenick, University of Regina

EdD (2006), University of British Columbia

Sessional Instructor, University of Regina

Research interests Global adult education, Indigenous education, Community-based education, leadership and organizational education, history of adult eduation



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How to Cite

Kolenick, P. (2013). TWO WORLDS, COLONIALISM ON THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE, AND THE ‘JUST’ LEARNING SOCIETY: A RENEWED VISION FOR ADULT EDUCATION. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, 25(2), 65–78. Retrieved from