The role of higher education in the process of professionalisation of adult educators

Open University of Cyprus (OUC)
Wednesday, 11 November, 2015 - 00:00 to Friday, 13 November, 2015 - 00:00

4th Biennial meeting of the ESREA Research Network for Adult Educators, Trainers and their Professionalisation (ReNAdET). The purpose of ESREA-ReNAdET biennial meetings is to bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from the field to present and exchange their ideas on the role/s of adult educators and trainers in Europe as well as to discuss issues relevant to their professional status and development.

Adult educators have often acquired expertise within a subject area in the course of their initial studies, but often lack formal preparation for teaching adults prior to entering the profession and at its outset. Hence, it is worth questioning how prospective adult educators prepare themselves to perform according to high quality standards in a changing working environment. With the increased interest in lifelong learning and adult education, the qualifications of those teaching adults becomes increasingly relevant. While a number of studies have focused on the qualification of adult educators and their need for competences, the question of initial education of those willing to enter the field of adult education has hitherto been rather limited.

In recent years, the concern about the need to qualify adult educators is shared among practitioners, academics and researchers. This is exemplified on the one hand, by the creation of adhoc training modules aimed at adult educators and, on the other hand, by the flourishing of national and cross-national studies, which shed light on the influences of societal, educational and occupational contexts within which professional development among adult educators occurs. However, a relatively limited attention has been paid to the role of higher education institutions on the initial education and training of adult educators-to-be, when compared to other fields of education (e.g. primary and secondary education). Furthermore, while a number of policies emphasise the quality of adult education and training provision, little attention is paid within current policy discourses on the role of higher education in the initial education and pre-service training of prospective adult educators.

This biennial meeting focuses on the important yet less discussed role of higher education institutions in both delivering academic programmes that provide relevant cognitive and professional skills and competences to future adult educators, and in being more actively involved in the current dialogue with regard to the professionalisation paths of adult educators and trainers.

A limited number of papers (max. 50) will be presented. Interested contributors may choose – but are not limited to– from the following shortlist of sub-themes:

  • Initial education and training of adult educators and trainers in higher education environments.
  • Types of programmes that are or can be provided by higher education institutions for the development of relevant professional competences by adult educators.
  • The role of universities as validating agencies of existing psycho-pedagogical competences for in-service adult educators.
  • Ways in which adult education policies and initial education and training opportunities for prospective adult educators affect the role of higher education institutions in terms of academic orientation and programme delivery.
  • Existing social and cultural factors within higher education institutions that influence the formation of initial competences and qualifications of adult educators.
  • Higher education institutions as stakeholders in decision making processes concerning adult education.
  • Development of conduits among policy-makers and academics with regard to the professionalisation of adult educators.

More information, including guidelines for submission of paper proposals, in the flyer featured below...

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