Deutsch Intern

Current Issues in Adult Learning and Education

Aim of the method/strategy

  • to help students recognise trends and issues in international adult learning and education, to improve their skills and knowledge in preparation for the Adult Education Academy, to make students more familiar with the state of the art in adult learning and education, and to move forward with the reflective approach;
  • to help students with diverse nationalities gain detailed insights into international and European challenges to ALE in order to identify similarities and difference between Europe and the countries they represent (Ukraine, China, Pakistan, South Korea, Palestine, Syria);
  • to strengthen students’ engagement in their learning processes and their contribution to the shared learning setting;
  • to provide preparatory readings necessary for successful participation in on-campus classes for the fall of 2019.


  • In classroom with participating students – special seminar

Type and name of the course, curriculum, number of students

  • Current Issues in Adult Learning and Education – Second-semester course for first-year MA programme students in HR Counselling who have been informed of the possibility to enrol in the INTALL Adult Education Academy in Adult and Lifelong Learning

Description of the method/strategy

Before they arrive for the on-campus sessions, participants are given the specific task to collect relevant information on current issues in ALE in Europe, e.g. issues listed in the EAEA 2019 Manifesto on Adult Learning, and to report on their impact. Each student has independently performed the web-based desk-research at home. Students are asked to use the COMPALL/INTALL information tool, and some additional relevant digital sources of information, to cover ALE trends and issues in Europe.

  • Action A: presentation focus:

During the on-campus session, students present their findings to the plenary group in no more than 7 minutes using 3-7 PowerPoint slides (we had 10 students altogether) and relate their findings to their home countries.

  • Action B: dialogical dimension:

Students present on specific issues in adult learning and education. 

  • Action C: comparative dimension through analytical papers:

The members of the group write a paper on a selected set of current issues in ALE based on the examples of issues set in the EAEA Manifesto in Europe and relate it to the most important trends and issues in their home countries.

Materials required

  • PPTs, projector, PC, flipchart, and paper with pen for notes

Origin and theoretical framework

  • The method is a combination of in-class presentations and dialogue-based comparison of country- and region-specific ALE. However, it is also built on students’ learning outcome incorporated into their analytical papers they had to provide at the end of the course.

Risks and advantages


  • The method supports participating MA students to extend their knowledge on current issues in adult and lifelong learning in Europe and beyond.
  • This method can help students to prepare for international group work and to initiate a better understanding of policy focuses in the field of ALE.
  • The method supports students in gaining insights into the activities of international ALE organisations through active work and dialogue, allowing for critical thinking and comparative skills to develop.
  • The on-campus group work helps students develop presentation skills.


  • The method can only be successful if students are thoroughly engaged in delivering their own part and if they actively participate in the dialogue about the topic and in the comparison of issues in Europe and the countries they represent.
  • There is a risk of generalisation and juxtaposition concerning issues in ALE. It is a recent trend that people dealing with current issues in adult education may describe, analyse or even argue about influential issues and, accordingly, tend to generalise some particularly important factors, thereby accelerating an issue or failing to recognise the social, political, or economic dimensions of the same issue. Another recent trend and surface-level symptom is that people make a juxtaposition without making any critical remark or comparison of the issue in between, or between countries, local/regional formations such as cities, regions, and their relevant administrative units (e.g. county, Länder, reggione, region, city, town, etc.)
  • The method only work, if participants are properly prepared for the task.

Possible variation

  • We use this method at the University of Pécs in the MA programme in Adult Education and in the MA programme in Human Resource Counselling.

Other examples where you think it could be used

  • This method can be used with masters’ and doctoral students in adult education, also in the field of international HR counselling case study development in the analysis of specific HR practices of corporate organisations with a comparative focus.


  • The task should be planned in detail in advance, and students should be given detailed information on how to prepare!
  • An appropriate timetable should be clearly discussed in advance with participating students.
  • It is important to provide effective feedback to motivate students and to highlight the importance of relevant group-work methods as preparatory steps towards the Adult Education Academy activities that follow.

Feel free to include some annexes connected to the use of the strategy/method

In English:

Topics of the course:

  • Contextualising adult learning and education in post-war Europe
  • The emergence of a new andragogy
  • Adult education: a traditional welfare policy tool or the supportive agent of an open labour market
  • Early policy attempts in Europe
  • The 1970s response to the crisis of the welfare models
  • Connecting education and training
  • Special target groups in adult education: concerns in the practice of adult education
  • On the move to a balanced model of adult education and training in Europe
  • The role of the concept of lifelong learning
  • The formation of the Grundtvig programme – post Grundtvig programme issues
  • International perspectives
  • The Post-2015 Agenda: the impact of UNESCO and its GRALE Reports and OECD PIAAC Surveys

Contact Persons

Németh Balázs (

Krisztina Fodorné Tóth (