Adult educators in times of changing cultures: embracing diversity for empowerment and inspiration - 6th Biennial Meeting of the ESREA ReNAdET, Thessaloniki 16-18 October 2019
This year’s meeting suggests an emphasis on the cultural approach in adult education considering that all learning territories are cultural. Culture surrounds each one of us in everyday life, covers various forms of expression and provides insight into the social relations, history, human behavior, aesthetics etc. Cultural experiences, choices and expressions are most likely very diverse, and prejudices or stereotypes to certain forms of cultural expressions often result from ignorance. Cultural diversity in the field of adult education on the one hand, provides a concrete transfer of different learning cultures, knowledge and skills in the professional domain, and on the other hand, it helps to bridge misunderstanding and overcome stereotypes and prejudices towards certain forms of cultural expressions.
Much of Europe has become super-diverse. Super-diversity is here to stay, and the challenges run on into the future – in many fields, including education, security, employment, and culture. The social landscape in most European countries has been transformed in the past two decades. Among the European Union, the European countries that have joined the EU since 2004 mainly from Eastern and Central Europe have brought with them new challenges, cultures and languages. In complement, the arrival of migrants and refugees from third countries (outside the EU) combined with longer established minority populations has resulted in an unprecedented variety of cultures, identities, faiths, and languages. Diversity also relates to learning depending on the barriers that might be faced for the access to education, training, or employment.
The implementation of diverse-embracing and/or anti-discriminatory policies into adult education practice is at best patchy. Where support for migrant and ethnic minority learners exists for example, it usually takes the form of additional learning support activities which have some impact on specific social groups, but leave much of the adult education field largely untouched. They also fail to mobilise the potential contribution of these learners to bring an alternative cultural perspective which would enrich all learners and better support them all for a world which is increasingly diverse.
The main issue to be addressed in the 6th meeting of ReNAdET is to look into the various levels of diversity in adult education focusing on the role/s of adult educators: A first level concerns the educators- working in formal/non-formal educational structures, with diverse educative patterns and various professional practices. A second level of diversity concerns learners- whatever their profiles, low qualified/qualified (but without any official recognition, as acquired in a non-EU country); starting/ending their professional career; gender diverse; with diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. A third level is the kind of “territories” learners and educators are working together in sensitive/normal, urban/rural education and learning environments.
The idea is to discuss the kind of support adult educators need in order to provide self-confidence and hope to learners who might feel lost, misunderstood, or even abandoned by the formal learning system. Therefore adult education professionals should be better equipped to meet the demands expressed by learners with fewer opportunities faced by many barriers and obstacles in their transition to the labour market or to their social and professional integration- education, training, employment, through empowerment and inspiration. A limited number of papers (max. 40) will be presented.
- adult educators, practitioners, researchers, policy makers
- Adult educators working in different context or /and culturally diverse education environments.
- Development of professional , social identity of adult educators and intercultural competences for in-service adult educators
- Professional development of adult educators and types of programmes that are or can be provided for adult educators
- Research in culturally diverse adult learning environments (formal, non-formal, workplace).
- National and European adult education policies that affect the role, competencies and activities of adult educators in supporting learning in different cultural context
- Existing social and cultural factors that support the empowerment of adult educators and adult learners at risk of social exclusion (e.g. Roma, NEETs, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, homeless).
- Support of gender diversity (for both learners and educators) through empowerment activities.
- Validation of competencies including intercultural competencies for adult educators.
- from 2019-10-16 to 2019-10-18