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Professionalisation of Adult Educators

International and Comparative Perspectives


Susanne Lattke and Wolfgang Jütte

In many regions of the world, professionalisation in adult and continuing education is brought into the focus of educational policy and research. Various fields of practice are looking for scientifical and political support in raising the level of professionalism. While there are no simple lessons to be learned from other countries, a closer analysis of international experience may reveal common and diverging interests. It may also provide worthwhile insights into opportunities and risks surrounding professionalisation. This edited volume is intended to further stimulate international exchange, cross-country approaches and comparative research in this field. It includes contributions to the theoretical debate and to the development of (comparative) research as well as reports on research findings and development activities concerning the professionalisation of adult educators.
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Insights from Germany: Theoretical models of professional knowledge and their relevance for empirical research


← 58 | 59 → Joachim Ludwig, Stephanie Günther

The professionalization of adult educators is gaining importance. Two developments can be highlighted in connection with this. Firstly, pedagogical actions are becoming more relevant in an increasing number of social areas of action. Experts who generally haven’t had a professional pedagogical education are realizing this as well. Here, the question posed itself as to what this pedagogical professionalization should and must include. Secondly, professionalization in the context of quality is becoming more important. Teacher competence is being considered and studies conducted, especially in schools. That, in turn, has effects on adult education. The quality of pedagogical actions is seen as the most significant basis for educational quality.

How can the process of professionalization of teachers in adult education be described adequately? This question is closely linked to the conception of professional pedagogical actions and pedagogical knowledge. Only from this perspective can the process of professionalization be queried. The question of pedagogical knowledge thereby takes on a key role. This can be shown by the discourse surrounding research on professional pedagogical actions. Observations concerning different positions of cognitive-scientific orientations of competence made in this area on the one hand and action-theoretical orientation of professionalism on the other differ most pronouncedly in their definition of knowledge. Whereas the competence-theoretical approaches define knowledge as a constant factor and as a guide for acting in predefined situations, professional-theoretical approaches see it as being bound to the context and as a foil to be...

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