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Master of Arts Integrated Studies (MAIS) 644

Adult Education, Community Leadership, and the Crisis of Democracy (Revision 2)

**Note:Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


MAIS 644 is a course about adult education and community leadership. It begins from the premise that we live in a time of extraordinary worldwide upheaval and questioning about the fate of the earth. The course includes a discussion and critique of the moral and ethical leadership of those commanding the power domains of business and politics.

Among other things, MAIS 644 considers:

  • democracy in our business and community organizations
  • the elements of democratic communication (conversation)
  • ways to speak and act intelligently as designers of just learning organizations

The fundamental question MAIS 644 addresses is whether we can think beyond the boundaries of “liberal democracy” imaginatively, without abandoning existing forms of parliamentary democracy, human rights frameworks, and pluralist forms of life. Can we deepen our theoretical understanding of democracy, pressing the notion into the realm of workplace organization (perhaps bringing down to earth the old dream that workers could control the means of production) and plumbing the dialogic potential within forms of governance and a dynamic civil society?

Course Structure

MAIS 644 is divided into 6 units:

  • Unit 1: Basic Conceptual Building Blocks
  • Unit 2: Designing the Just Business Organization
  • Unit 3: Civil Society as the Pre-eminent Learning Domain
  • Unit 4: Historical Case Studies of Canadian Adult Educational Leadership for Social Reform
  • Unit 5: Deliberative Democratic Leaders as Convenors of Dialogue
  • Unit 6: Deliberative Democratic Leadership and the Struggle for Recognition

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for this course, students must participate in the online activities, successfully complete the assignments, and achieve a final mark of at least 60 per cent. Students should be familiar with the Master of Arts—Integrated Studies grading system. Please note that it is students' responsibility to maintain their program status. Any student who receives a grade of "F" in one course, or a grade of "C" in more than one course, may be required to withdraw from the program.

The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weights associated with them.

Activity Weighting
Online Participation 25%
Assignment 1 25%
Assignment 2 25%
Assignment 3 25%
Total 100%

Course Materials

The course materials for Master of Arts-Integrated Studies 644 include the items listed below.


  • Seidman, S. ed. Jurgen Habermas on Society and Politics: A Reader. Boston: Beacon Press, 1989.
  • Welton, M. Designing the Just Learning Society: A Critical Inquiry. Leicester: NIACE, 2005.
  • Welton, M. Little Mosie of the Margaree: A Biography of Moses Michael Cody. Toronto: Thompson Books, 2001.

Athabasca University Printed Materials

Reading File: The Reading File contains selected articles from various sources that are required reading for this course.

Athabasca University Online Materials

Course Home Page: You will find Course Information (including the Assignment File and other pertinent information) at the top of the course home page. You will also find your Study Guide presented unit by unit online. You will find your assignments and links to submit your work to your professor on the course home page.

Athabasca University Library: Students are encouraged to browse the Library's Web site to review the Library collection of journal databases, electronic journals, and digital reference tools:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 2, January 7, 2013.

Last updated by MAIS; 08/05/2014 13:51:13