The education field has experienced significant disruption since the pandemic hit in early 2020. The impacts of COVID-19 on all generations of learners are massive and still ongoing.
The pandemic has paved the way towards new solutions and innovative practices in learning, and in adult learning. Globally, it has become urgent to invest in shaping more effective, equitable and flexible learning systems. Investing in personal and professional growth and cultivating skills is therefore an invaluable trait, as individuals need to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. This encourages us to treasure these lessons learnt and wisely increase our efforts to achieve just, sustainable and inclusive societies, with the help of lifelong learning experiences.
The future of adult learning looks more promising than ever before!
Europe needs the vision and the active participation of all young people to build a better future, that is greener, more inclusive and digital.
With the aim to support and encourage young people to become active citizens and actors of positive change, the European Commission aims to promote opportunities to support young people’s personal, social, and professional development in the European Year of Youth 2022. The Commission is willing to draw inspiration from the actions, vision and insights of young people to further strengthen and invigorate the common EU project.
In this context, EPALE dedicates a full thematic focus to young adults, with special attention to the 25-30 age range. We will look at this group from specific points of view: intergenerational learning, building partnerships and social cohesion; civic skills as a prerequisite to become active participants in society; low-skilled young adults and how to equip them with the necessary skills to grow.
This focus helps us reflect on how to shape a positive approach regarding learning of young adults, as a first step toward lifelong learning.
Innovative approaches for Skills revolution
A strong skill set opens up opportunities to individuals, provides a safety net in ever-changing times, and promotes inclusion. The Commission’s initiative on individual learning accounts and on micro-credentials aims to ensure that everyone has access to relevant training opportunities that are tailored to their needs, throughout life. The learners as unique individuals are directly at the centre of skills development, allowing for dynamic upskilling and education across their entire lifelong learning journey. To ensure the recognition of each small learning experience, micro-credentials certify what knowledge, skill or competence they have acquired.
This focus will cover a broad series of subtopics, such as: upskilling and reskilling innovative practices; tailored skills development initiatives; flexible learning pathways; blended learning design; innovative skills forecast tools.
So, what are the new frontiers of adult learning? How can we improve lifelong learning and employability? Share with us your experience and reflections on the development of such innovative approaches that will transform adult learning!
Learning happens in communities, builds communities, and helps them grow. This requires that education takes place not only in more formal institutions and settings, but also non-formal learning settings and informal practices, since learning does not stop behind a wall but overcomes the physical and well-established spaces.
Starting from the premise that learning is beneficial both for the individual learners and for society as a whole, this thematic focus will investigate how inclusive learning communities can be created, across the European space. Particular attention will be given to the following topics: learning cities; third spaces and safe spaces; rural areas; family literacy programmes; learning communities at the workplace; new understanding of learning communities across the virtual, physical and blended learning spaces; volunteers and community development; initiatives addressed to vulnerable groups.
What is your experience? Which learning communities are you contributing to grow?
Creativity and culture for social cohesion
How can adult learning play a strategic role in imagining and building a future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful? The New European Bauhaus can be used as a compass to develop “places, practices, and experiences that are enriching, sustainable and inclusive” thus contributing to shaping more resilient communities. Encouraging a dialogue across cultures and supporting individual empowerment and democratic consciousness in adult learners, cultural education is a major driver and enabler of social cohesion. We invite you to share reflections and initiatives on creativity and culture in adult learning. Feel free to explore multidisciplinary cultural spaces (museums, libraries, theatres – but also informal spaces turned into new and innovative learning spaces); creative tools and methodologies for social cohesion; learning cultures of underrepresented groups (e.g. minorities and rural communities); emotional intelligence.
What creative tools and methodologies for social cohesion are you experiencing? What is happening in cultural spaces and emerging creative ecosystems? How is creativity in ALE connecting people to spread beauty and sense of belonging? How can we effectively shape inclusive and human-centered societies through lifelong learning?