There is no doubt that the society of the future will be a learning society. Citizens are required to constantly update their competences, not only with regard to the world of work but in an encompassing approach to participate in contemporary societies. Moreover, modern societies face a rapid differentiation of educational pathways, opportunities and biographies. This increase in complexity from learners requires great effort into initiative taking, creativity, problem solving, risk assessment and decision taking, all of which requires learners to become stakeholders of their own learning process.
However, learner populations with a disadvantaged background or those remote from learning have great difficulties to take ownership of their learning, without being empowered. Empowerment is a term frequently found in formal and informal policy documents and expert discourses about adult education. But, although a great deal of rhetoric about learner empowerment, adult education practice too often remains caught in traditional instruction methods, fixed curricula and pre-defined learning outcomes. It's in particular low achievers who suffer from this situation, because they in the formal education system usually have made the experience that major parameters of their learning is out of their control, and thus never had the chance to develop a sense of ownership for their own learning.
PARTICIPATE is a new European project, which aims to promote participatory methods in adult education. It starts from the assumption that the impact on disadvantaged target groups can be greatly increased if education providers manage to adopt participatory approaches and methods, and this way support their learners to develop a sense of ownership of their learning and become lifelong learners. The specific objective of the PARTICIPATE project is to build a model for participatory design of learning outcomes.
The German Institute for Adult Education is organising a European conference in Bonn on 25 September 2018. The conference is titled "Course planning and course evaluation - two unjustly neglected key competences for teachers and trainers in adult education". It is organised in the framework of the project DEMAL.
The conference addresses two professional tasks of adult teachers which tend to attract less attention than the “actual teaching”. However, planning and evaluation of adult learning activities are of equal importance for the quality and the success of these activities. At the conference new European approaches to define and develop these two key competences will be presented and further development needs will be discussed. Besides a general introduction to the topic, three aspects will be explored in greater depth in parallel workshops:
The conference targets practitioners and researchers in the field of adult learning and education. No conference fees will be charged. Travel grants are available to a limited number of participants from Europe. If you are interested, please contact the organisers.
In the last decades we have seen a transformation of our reality, each day more and more influenced and linked to the digital world. No one doubts that we are experiencing a profound change that, supported by new technologies in a massive way, offers us great opportunities and challenges.
We could say that mobile devices and the internet have been the two key elements that - as the printing appearance caused, or later other mass media, such as radio or television - reaches absolutely all the spheres of our lives: communication, information, entertainment, commerce, the provision of education, health and government services, and the production systems themselves. These elements not only provide new tools, but also influence our position in the world, in our role as citizens.
Thus, although the concept of "digital citizen" was initially created to define those people who were active on the Internet and who used it to interact with their public administrations or collaborate with social and political entities, this idea become obsolete, and it is now clear that digital citizenship is no longer a matter of choice, but there is a digital space in which all citizens must be present.
One of the priorities of ET2020 is the professional development of staff working in the adult education sector, with a view to improve the quality and efficiency of adult learning. Following this priority in 2010 a framework for “Key Competences for Adult Learning Staff” has been launched, which defines the generic and specific competency profile for professional staff working in adult education.
Starting from the Education and Training 2020 strategy whose objective is the improvement of quality and efficiency in education and training among professional staffs, five organizations with valuable experience in the field of adult education from five different countries (Germany, Greece, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria), representing both private and public as also profit and non-profit sectors, have created a partnership to launch DEMAL project.
The “Designing, monitoring and evaluating adult learning classes – Supporting quality in adult learning” (acronym DEMAL) project is funded by the European Commission through the ERASMUS+ K2 Programme which enhances and promotes cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices. DEMAL intends to implement two key competences which, according to the 2010 “Key Competences for Adult Learning Professionals” framework, should advance adult training staffs and improve quality in adult learning. These two competences are:
This year, the EAEA Grundtvig Award will be given to a project successful in engaging new groups of learners.
One of the key challenges in adult education is often described as the “Matthew effect” – those who have will be given more and those who don’t will have less. This means that those who already have higher levels of education are more likely to participate in adult education. Partly this is due to the fact that they are more likely to be in the kinds of jobs where their employers offer training through their companies, but also because they more likely have positive experiences with learning and are therefore more likely to participate voluntarily.
The new 2 years Erasmus+ project Walk & Talk promotes non-formal learning of Europeans 65+, along with physical activities taking place outside the classroom. While the seniors are walking, they will learn about the interrelation between physical activity and active and healthy aging. They might learn a new language, discuss local culture and history, traditions, use apps etc. Senior learners can meet outside the centre of their home towns, in nature, or within their own surrounding or neighbourhood, which will be easier for the seniors living in big cities.
The Erasmus+ partnership ON THE MOVE just released a best practice guide on how to reach out to and include persons from vulnerable groups in the world of Lifelong Learning. The publication is based on reviews of more than 100 European projects, providing outreach educational guidance and low-threshold learning opportunities.
A major aim of the project is to make staff in counselling and educational institutions in Europe aware of "alternative approaches (predominantly of the outreach kind) bringing educationally remote and low-qualified people to further education and will implement these in their countries".