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Changing Configurations in Adult Education in Transitional Times

International Perspectives in Different Countries


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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Education and Training for Adult Education Profession in Slovenia Before and After Transition Period


Vida A. Mohorčič Špolar

1. Introduction

Almost a quarter of a century has passed since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, which marked a new perspective for the development of former socialist/ communist countries, either those in Central and Eastern Europe or those behind the Iron curtain.

Post-communist countries are not a uniform group. They differ from each other by their historical and economic development and by culture. What made them alike was their one-party political system. If the word communism or even socialism meant there was ‘no private initiative’ it also meant free of charge education, organised public health care, childcare, social security, social care and job security. As Holford et al. (2008, p. 12) point out ‘adult education formed a significant feature of the apparatus of many communist-led states in Central and Eastern Europe’. With the collapse of the Socialist bloc these countries have been facing changes – transition from central planned economies to market economies, from collectivism to individualism, from mono-party to multi-party system.

Transition in the dictionary1 denotes “changing, change from one condition or set of circumstances to another” while in another2 defines it as the “process or an instance of changing from one form, state, activity, or place to another”. The Cambridge Business English Dictionary describes it as “an economy that is changing from being one under government control to being a market economy (= one in which companies are not controlled by the...

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