Uppingham Seminar report on the adult dimensions to the SDGs


An Uppingham Seminar took place at Dunford House, Midhurst, Sussex on the 7-9 April 2016 under the title "Adult Learning and the Sustainable Development Goals". A report is now available on this event, featured below and also available on the Uppingham website.

Summary of the seminar

This Uppingham Seminar explored the encouragement which the SDGs have given to adult learning opportunities and activities, under four headings:

Philosophy: definitions and concepts of 'adult education' (AE), 'adult learning and education' (ALE - UIL's preferred term) and lifelong learning/education (LLL/E).

Policy: how governments, intergovernmental bodies (such as UN and World Bank etc), INGOs and NGOs regard and implement the adult learning opportunities and activities in regard to the SDGs, and how information on such a diversity of activities can be collected for monitoring and evaluation.

Pedagogy and Practice: how far adult learning calls for distinctive kinds of provision, especially in terms of teachers and other professionals, and what indicators of learning outcomes are appropriate for adult learning.

Partnerships: how those concerned for the promotion of adult learning opportunities and activities can build partnerships both with formal and non-formal education and with other sectors of development as outlined in the SDGs, overcoming the resistance to co-operation which appears to exist.

The key issue appeared to be whether adult learning (in its widest sense) should retain its current distinctiveness from mainstream education (in its widest sense), seeking its own partnerships to implement the adult learning targets listed in the SDGs and its own indicators of learning outcomes; or whether it should be mainstreamed within a concept of LLL/E, and universal indicators of learning outcomes should be sought. In the tradition of the Uppingham Seminars, each participant will have come to their own conclusion on these questions.

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