Darlene Clover inducted into Adult Education Hall of Fame

On September 28, 2022, Dr. Darlene Clover was inducted into the International Adult Education Hall of Fame. She was inaugurated alongside a group of 24 others from across the world at a ceremony held at Cork University in Ireland, and became the sixth Canadian to be so honoured. This membership recognizes Darlene’s distinguished 35-year career with the International Council for Adult Education, the University of Toronto and UVic.

“It's just such an honor for me and I'm just so delighted,” said Dr. Clover in a Zoom interview. “That's really all I can say. It feels wonderful to be acknowledged by the people I work with, and it shows that I’ve had a passion and a commitment to this field which is highly recognized.”

Dr. Clover was nominated for this honour by her lifelong friends and colleagues, Dr. Rajesh Tandon and Dr. Shirley Walters. Her research over the past three decades has focussed on nonformal adult education and art as a tool for critical adult education and learning, research and community development. As a critical adult educator, Darlene works within the context of global social issues.

“Adult education is a field of study that is about the critical nature of society and how we work with adults around how power is used to make the change that we need in this world.” – Dr. Darlene Clover

Darlene has been focusing on art galleries and museums in Canada and the United Kingdom as important sites of critical pedagogy and social activism. Museums, art galleries and libraries are of special interest because they are “areas of contact” where adults can engage with real, socially-relevant content and critically reflect.

“I actually came to these institutions quite reluctantly. I had been researching the very critical and creative work of feminist community-based artist educators, who with increasing frequency, would suggest I should speak with someone working in a particular art gallery or museum. But I was interested in energy, social change, dynamic interactions, and women’s political activist arts-based adult education practices not men, motionlessness, mummies and martyrdoms! So, it took me some time – about six years I would say – but I finally made an appointment with the woman adult educator at the National Gallery of Canada. She talked to me about her nonformal education work with youth and adults, about how she was using the artworks in the gallery and having them create their own works, to explore the erosion of human rights in Canada since 9/11. I was inspired and have yet, as they say, ‘to exit through the gift shop’.”

Congratulations, Darlene!