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Adult Learning and Education in International Contexts: Future Challenges for its Professionalization

Comparative Perspectives from the 2016 Würzburg Winter School


Regina Egetenmeyer, Sabine Schmidt-Lauff and Vanna Boffo

This volume analyses adult education and lifelong learning as international phenomena, which have a strong influence on professionals working in this field. Based on the 2016 Würzburg Winter School, the book identifies influences on policy at local, national and international levels. It examines the internationalization of adult education and emphasizes the emergence of different dimensions of professionalism in adult education.

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Work Transitions in Adulthood: An Analytical Tool for Comparative Studies (Fanny Hösel & Carlo Terzaroli)


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Fanny Hösel & Carlo Terzaroli

Work Transitions in Adulthood: An Analytical Tool for Comparative Studies

Abstract: This paper analyzes work transitions in modern times. It discusses the pedagogical challenges involved in supporting adults, paying attention to the topic of professionalism in adult education. It proposes an analytical tool for investigating work transitions in a comparative perspective among countries or regions.

From the societal and individual backgrounds of transitions to work pathways

Our modern times are characterized by a wide range of transformative processes and institutional changes, by the loss of old orientations and traditional safeties. Individuals are therefore increasingly responsible for choosing their own life path, a development explained by the so-called phenomenon of individualization1 (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim 1994). On the one hand, the personal contribution required leads to more options; on the other hand, more freedom of action often produces feelings of uncertainty (Böhle & Weihrich 2009), more pressure and a need for orientation and guidance.

As is now well established, the standard biography has been replaced by the ‘elective biography’ […] This development has two corollaries. One is that in certain periods of life, many different tasks must be combined […]. The second is that given the individualization of life courses, coordination of life and work on an aggregate social level becomes problematic.

(Glastra et al. 2004, p. 295)

These trends become particularly obvious when examining the transitions people go...

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