The Dr. Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education
John M. Dirkx is the Mildred B. Erickson Distinguished Chair in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education for 2011 – 2014. He is Professor of Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education within the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. John also serves as the Coordinator of the College of Education Masters of Arts in Education online program. He teaches courses on teaching and learning in higher and adult education and research methods, and advises doctoral and masters students.
John received his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1987 in continuing education, where he studied adult learning, group dynamics, and transformative education. He served as a professor of Vocational and Adult Education at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln from 1988 – 1996. John also directed the Michigan Center for Career and Technical Education from 1997 – 2004 and the Nebraska State Literacy Resource Center from 1992 – 1996.
Among John’s primary research interests are continuing professional development for teachers in higher and adult education contexts, internationalizing experiences for graduate students, and online teaching and learning. He is currently working with colleagues in Vietnam and MSU to help develop a comprehensive system of professional development for Vietnamese teachers in higher education and community colleges. In addition, John is directing a study of graduate study abroad at MSU and other member schools of the Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC) and New York University. A major theoretical theme that runs throughout his work in these contexts is the transformative and socio-emotional dimensions of teaching and learning.
Dirkx is current editor of the Journal of Transformative Education and former editor of Adult Education Quarterly. He is also co-author of A Guide to Planning and Implementing Instruction for Adults: A Theme-based Approach, editor of Adult Learning and the Emotional Self, and author of numerous book chapters and journal articles on teaching and learning in higher and adult education. He is currently working on a book on the transformative dimensions of teaching and learning.
A major focus of the Erickson Distinguished Chair over the next three years is on internationalizing experiences for graduate students and faculty within postsecondary institutions. Dubbed GLEO (Graduate Learning Experiences and Outcomes), this effort will involve identifying, describing, and categorizing types of internationalizing experiences provided to graduate students and faculty by postsecondary institutions; developing a deeper understanding of the experiences associated with these programs; and individual and institutional outcomes associated with these efforts.