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Changing Configurations in Adult Education in Transitional Times

International Perspectives in Different Countries

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Edited By Bernd Käpplinger and Steffi Robak

Change and transition are prominent buzzwords in the discourse upon adult education. International conferences like the European ESREA triennial research conference 2013 in Berlin focused on these terms. But is to deal with change and transitions really something new for adult education? What is new? What has changed? Which kind of transitions do we experience and how can we systematically observe and analyse them as researchers nowadays? This anthology wants to stimulate an exchange beyond buzzwords and European perspectives and investigate what these terms could mean for research in terms of institutionalisation and professionalization in adult education in different national contexts. Therefore, distinguished scholars were invited to contribute to this anthology.
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Adult and Continuing Education: Results in the Context of Research on Programs and Professionality

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Wiltrud Gieseke

1. Adult Education in Europe – Outlining two topics from a German perspective

The learning of adults is not a new topic nor in Germany neither in Europe. It is actually connected to the industrialization, the modernity, the labour movement, the democratization, interculturality, the diversity of cultures, the economic development and prosperity in Europe. Adult education and lifelong learning (LLL) are in Europe children of the economic prosperity the democratic goal to secure educational participation for everybody across the lifespan. The European Union has been so far a driving force.

I will present in this paper main topics and some results of my research work. These are from my point of view also relevant for the discourse on adult education. Above all, I would like to stress a genuine perspective of adult education. I will concentrate on two topics:

a) The programs of institutions and organizations

The heterogeneous institutions, organizations, and agencies for LLL are waiting for research. Research which discusses the development of educational programs and which discusses knowledge structures in a certain organizational context is needed in order to receive transparency in relation to the provision of adult education.

What do I mean with the term “program”? My understanding is: “The program of a continuing education institution is the central hinge between the institution, the public and the individual. It represents and connects the institution with the participants. It is the precondition for...

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