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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Knowledge Exchange: 23 Years of cultivating lifelong learners | The Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

"Something remarkable has been happening for the past 23 years in the South Suburbs." inform Margaret Brady. 

Photo: The Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

The Knowledge Exchange (TKE), often referred to as a “hidden gem,” starts its 24th year of learning when its fall session opens Sept. 16 at Governors State University (GSU). 

The program brings adults together on Fridays to learn about a myriad of subjects — everything from history and literature to film studies, science, philosophy, the law and art appreciation. The course teachers, or “leaders,” are all volunteers; the students, or “participants,” are mostly retired or semi-retired individuals.

There are no grades; there is no homework, papers or tests. The courses offer no credits. There is simply the utter joy of learning — a steady pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and an ongoing, free-flowing exchange of opinions and ideas.

Conceived in 1992, The Knowledge Exchange (formerly known as The Adult Learning Exchange, or TALE) has been offering courses in the Southland every year since the summer of 1993. It operated formerly under the auspices of the Anita M. Stone Jewish Community Center. Currently, TKE is based out of the School of Extended Learning at GSU in University Park.

Serving as a vivacious and energetic administrator of TKE today is Suzanne Patterson of Homewood, whose full-time job is continuing education community coordinator in GSU’s School of Extended Learning.

Patterson stepped into her administrative role for TKE in 2012. However, she’s quick to note that she walked into a “fully-loaded and already thriving” program, thanks to the efforts of people like her “mentor” Kathy Kemp of Chicago Heights, one of the group’s original team members. Kemp — along with others like Bob Wolf, the late Bill Dodd (Flossmoor) and Cil Rockwell — helped make TKE what it is today.

TKE’s early architects patterned their program somewhat after Northwestern University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Source: The Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

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