Discussion Details

Ролята на обучението на възрастни за подпомагане на кариерното развитие

Career development.

Като част от фокуса ни за ноември, EPALE организира писмена дискусия за ролята на обучението на възрастни за подпомагане на заетите да се адаптират към бързо променящия се свят на работата.

Дискусията ще се състои на тази страница на 22 ноември от 11:00 ч. и ще бъде модерирана от тематичния координатор на EPALE David MallowsНе пропускайте възможността да споделите възгледите и опита си с общността на EPALE по някоя от следните теми:

11:00-13:30 ч.

  • Как обучението на възрастни могат да отговорят на нуждите на възрастните, които работят в gig икономиката? (Gig икономика е термин, обозначаващ пазарна икономика, при която временните позиции са обичайни и организациите наемат независими работници на краткосрочни договори)
    • С увеличаване на броя на професиите, които включват независима работа на електронни платформи, как може образованието на възрастни условно да отговори на техните нужди, да гарантира, че тяхната автономия и ефективност не са повлияни от изолацията им и от липсата на колективна тежест?
    • Как можем да идентифицираме, валидираме и насърчим новите умения, които са от основно значение за ефективността на работещите по този начин?
  • Знаем, че хората с висока квалификация е по-вероятно да се включат в обучение и образование на работното място. Как можем да подпомогнем кариерното развитие на хората, чиито работни позиции изискват по-малко умения?
    • Как можем да гарантираме, че порочният кръг на ниско търсене, което води до загуба на съществуващи умения и неучастие в дейности за усвояване на нови такива (дигитални умения, четивна и математическа грамотност, меки умения и др.) не води до социално изключване и създаване на прослойка от работници "втора ръка"?

Дискусията остава отворена по време на обедната почивка

14:30-17:00 ч.

  • В по-голямата си част ученето на работното място е неформално – учим се един от друг като наблюдаваме, обсъждаме и изпробваме нови умения. Как може обучението за възрастни да ангажира работниците с цел валидиране на такова учене - за да станат уменията на възрастните по-видими, без да бъдат създавани тромави системи за квалификация? 
  • Как работодателите могат да изграждат култура на учене на работното място, които подпомагат работниците им да отговорят на изискванията, които се предявяват към тях и да процъфтяват в кариерното си развитие? Какви стимули за учене могат да предложат работодателите?
    • Как правителствата могат да гарантират, че политиките им за учене на възрастни са проактивни, и че по-скоро предотвратяват появата на дефицити от умения у заетите, отколкото просто да предприемат мерки, когато хората останат без работа? 

Ще се радваме да чуем за инициативи и проекти, в които сте участвали и които подпомагат възрастните при ученето им за работата и на работното място. 

**Коментарите ще бъдат отворени на 19 ноември, за да могат участниците да се представят или да публикуват мнението си предварително.

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Regarding the question what goverments can do, I think it's  important that they do something before people even lose their jobs. They (or the companies) should encourage peoples strengths and make further education, training and learning in general more attractive. So that people can benefit form their acquired qualifations in their jobs. And if they lose their jobs, better trained employees might find faster a new one. 

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In the UK unions are in a unique place to engage with a wide range of partners and communities effectively engaging and supporting adult learners in the workplace. Our Supporting Learners work underpins all unionlearn activity with the primary aim of making all learning and progression opportunities available to working people, particularly those who are most disadvantaged in the workplace.
Our strategy for supporting learners is built around the successful Network Model. The model places the work of the union reps at the heart of the strategy. Union Learning Reps are ideally placed to support learners as they speak the same language as their members and have their trust. Learners then feel supported in accessing the right learning and courses for them to consider their career options.
Unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills arm, is a partner in an exciting and innovative Erasmus+ Project called The Rainbow Years. The project aims to support older workers with low English, maths and digital skills by offering them a Mid-life Skills Review to boost their confidence and skills so they can remain within the labour market. The project will develop new online training materials for Mid-life Skills Reviewers and an innovative online transferable skills assessment tool called Value My Skills. The online tool identifies the transferable skills a worker has developed and those that are under developed so that the user can then develop a personalized action plan to help them progress and get on at work. This dynamic and creative online tool will be launched next month and the Mid-life Skills Reviews will be rolled out next year. Further information about the project can be found on the unionlearn website at  https://www.unionlearn.org.uk/rainbow-years-project
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There's this new versatile platform called "Positive CV" in Finland. It's purpose is to help children and adolescents learn to recognize and document their abilities and strengths together with those closest to them. I'm just wondering, could this kind of platform work also with adults and help them, their co-workers and their current or future employers to recognize their skills? Maybe this kind of system could be one way to validate or just make visible informal learning that happens at work? 
Here's more about positive CV: https://www.positiivinencv.fi/en/
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Hi, I am Christina, a student of adult education at the university of graz, austria. I think, our educational systems needs a change, because it is to closed. There should be the posibility to compare different qualifications. A worker, who was qualificated in dual education system, who finished this and worked in his job for severall years, has to start at the very beginning, when he goes to university. I think, within his subject, where he already is professional, he should not be treated like someone, who comes to university without knowing anything about the subject. We need a classification system, thats is more open, that validates acquired education, no mather, if it is academical or not, that gives the posibility to get attached in different ways.
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We know that adult learners in non-formal or formal education / learning contexts who validate and certify such processes do not benefit in the same way from such processes. That is, the career counterparts are not the same for everyone. It is adults who are already at an average or high level of their career who benefit most from the learning process There is also a tendency for the demand for such processes to be greater in adults with higher levels of education. If the most valued learning processes are those that are paid, where is the role of adult education in the process of democratization and the possibility of social ascension?
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Hi, I am Christina. I´m a studend of adult aducation in Graz, Austria. I think, the validation of educational qualification should offer a system, that makes qualifications comparable. A worker, wo was in dual education system, finished this and worked in his job for some years, has a big knowledge within his subject. When he goes to university, he has to start from the beginning in his subject, although he is a professional. It should be able for him, not to start again from the very beginning - in his subject - like others, who are completly new in it. We need offers in our system to connect to acquiered education - no mather, if its academical or not. Shure, there must be a classificaton system, to value skills and qualifications - but it should be much more open.
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Yesterday I was in a small photography company in a historical center of a city in the rural areas of the country. The businessman and owner of the company told me that the principal employee had decided to set up his own photography company and had become his direct competitor in the local market. This situation led me to the following question: who is the builder of social capital resulting from learning in the work context? In other words, since the concept of "career" is assumed exclusively as an individual dynamic, but knowing that the basis of its development is an aggregate of other dynamics, namely those resulting from learning in the work context, we must admit that the worker is the bearer of resources, he/she is not the only builder of his own career. Thus, it would be worth exploring a more holistic approach to the concept of career and, above all, providing each worker and each employer with mutual validation mechanisms that value the "career system" and not just the individual pathway.
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I will have to leave this lively discussion now, but do feel free to carry on without me. I will check back in this evening to read what has been written. I will also put together a short summary blog for EPALE and look forward to engaging with you all on this, and other subjects, in the future.
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I think that there should be a system or anything similar, which shows what kind of skills - especially soft skills - each person has and it should be free of charge. The problem particularly in Austria is, that most of the people think that for a 'good' certificate you have to pay for. So we have to change something, but how should we do that without creating cumbersome qualification systems but I don't know either what the problems solution could be. Maybe it could be integrated as a part in the reference. But there shows up another problem: how to validate it.
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Interestingly education programmes you have to pay for are often connoted with more positive outcomes for indivuduals and quality and are often seen as more valuable. indeed, unfortunately the quality in public adult education suffers because of the combination of various circumstances such as the accomodation or precarious working conditions of staff. 
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Regarding the question what goverments can do, I think it's  important that they do something before people even lose their jobs. They (or the companies) should encourage peoples strengths and make further education, training and learning in general more attractive. So that people can benefit form their acquired qualifations in their jobs. And if they lose their jobs, better trained employees might find faster a new one. But I guess, in the end it's all about money. Training and courses can be really expensive if the workes have to pay them by themselves and why do it, if you have no beneftis from it? Not a better job, not more money. Just because you might benefit from it someday? Goverments should fund adult education more and companies should appreciate and reward their employees more for trying to acquire new qualifiacations.      
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a common reaction of established structures is to improve the product even further: more training courses, more features, more efforts etc...but what has not solved certain problems until yet will not be solved by these same approaches...so I suspect that a solution must look different 
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Simon Broek wrote about something similar in his blog. Adults often only engage when things are going well (promotion, new opportunities), or badly (unemployment) when what is also needed is ongoing training to keep skills up to date and to ensure that we remain open to new learning. But as you say Nora - it can be difficult to see the benefits when all is going well.
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The idea of creating a culture of learning in workplaces is on everyone's lips and in some companies (for examples for producation workers) difficult to implement - i think. But in this kind of process it's important to incorporate the employees and ask for their needs and ideas/suggestions. The implementation is more effective when both sides concur. Furthemore the company gets to know their employees and the employees can participate in processes of the company. The basis for the realisation is a good interaction and communication between both.
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I agree... but there's also work to help middle management understand that learning will, in the long-run, help them hit their sales figures, as Primin says. There have been quite a few studies where investment in employee training contributed to cost reductions due to fewer accidents for instance (different field, but ultimately same outcome).
I think that understanding of the contribution is often lacking.
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i agree with you, it´s on everyone´s lips and it´s hard for companies to implement accordingly...middle level management has more to do with the fact that the sales figures are right...here adult education could help by decreasing work and costs and enabling employees to develop better without disturbing the actual tasks of the company...that sounds difficult, but i believe that with the help of creativity and innovation adult education can make a better contribution here...
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This is the role of a union learning rep. They are workplace advocates that colleagues can turn to if they want to update their skills. They set up a learning committee. Which will have the voice of the workforce and the voice of management where skills and potential learning opportunities can be discussed.  Like you say, going forward with all sides at the table is a lot more productive for staff and the organisation alike. 
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In my opinion the national qualification frameworks are great to make education comparable. But I am asking myself, which ultimately dominates the design of the frame. Is the education judged exclusively on economic utility criteria? I think education is useful but it should not be reduced to considerations of utility. So the risk of qualification frameworks is that they are too focused on the needs of the economy and the job market and democratization and participation are paid too little attention. This could probably also have consequenzes for the general adult education.
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I agree Sarah. I posted this comment earlier:
Adult education is about much more than equipping people with skills to be better workers. Adult education has positive outcomes in terms of physical and mental health, confidence, team working, learning skills etc. that mean that even if the adult education is not workplace focused, it can have a positive impact on performance in the workplace. 
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Reports confirm that big and medium corporations, even in Portugal, have their one Training Programme and Talents retention processes that include Education&Training offers. However we have to focus on solutions for sme´s. I stand for two steps at EU level:
- one to go trough an open and universal online offer (MOOC's are ok if related with an excellent communication and collaborative tool).This offer will also include Universities and Technical Faculties as it seems now will be placed by the Comission;
- The national framework offer (National Catalogues) must priorize online courses and social media facilities including methodologies for accelerate learning collectivelly and gamification as well.
Of course Epale must be drastically improved in order to support better and more a vision for the Future of Learning in Europe.
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Both useful suggestions Etelberto, though I am not convinced of the potential for MOOCs as a delivery mechanism for anything other than declarative content for those who are already skilled learners. We should certainly investigate the possibilities provided by new technology/social media etc. but we need to make sure that we do so in an inclusive way. 
My other concern in this area is that, as you say, it is possible to oblige / encourage big companies to engage in workplace training, but the majority of people work in small or micro businesses and it is much more difficult for them to provide training / encourage the employees to engage.
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In Germany, as part of their political programme for the future, the CDU (?) have suggested a centralised online platform for further training and development. It's meant to be a one stop shop for People to go access quality assured validated learning offers (by accredited providers), specifically targeted to their Needs. It's meant to be in small Nuggets to be accessible anywhere any time.
While principally this is a great idea, there are a whole host of challenges to be resolved... not least the projected cost of 3-5 Billion Euros.
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Für mich ist das informelle Lernen in einem Unternehmen von großer Bedeutung. Die sogenannte "Kaffeeküche" ist ein guter Treffpunkt um sich in einer "lockeren" Umgebung zu unterhalten, auszutauschen und voneinander zu lernen. Es ist auch immer wieder zu hören, dass einige Unternehmen die Karriereleiter ihrer Mitarbeiter, Mitarbeiterinnen forcieren, indem sie Personen, die in ihrem Betrieb als Lehrlinge angefangen haben, auch eine hohe leitende Funktion ermöglichen. Die formale Ausbildung rückt somit in den Hintergrund. Interessant war für mich die Information von Verantwortlichen in Erwachsenenbildungseinrichtigungen, dass Trainer, Trainerinnen, die sich für ein von der Regierung beauftragtes Projekt engagieren wollen, grundsätzlich formale Grundbedingungen erfüllen müssen. Meiner Meinung nach ist aber (insbesondere in der beruflichen Weiterbildung) das Lernen von Personen mit Praxis und Erfahrungen wichtig.

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GOOGLE TRANSLATED: For me, informal learning in a company is very important. The so-called "coffee kitchen" is a good meeting place to talk, exchange and learn from each other in a "relaxed" environment. It is also common to hear that some companies are pushing the career ladder of their employees by giving people who started their apprenticeships a high executive role. The formal education thus moves into the background. It was interesting for me to inform leaders in adult education institutions that trainers, trainers, who want to get involved in a project commissioned by the government, basically have to fulfill basic formal conditions. However, in my opinion (especially in CVET) learning from people with experience and experience is important.
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Validation is a complex procedure and requires articulation with national/international standards. Employers must not have that burden also that deviates them for their main mission. Only to be aware of it and to make sure that their investment in training is worth while and brings to the professional involved credits and recognition of the new competencies.  If the new competencies are already at the National Catalogue Framework (how much must we be awaiting for the European one?) an easy and not bureaucratic process must be used. 
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I worked longer in a co-working space...we had developed an own culture...it was naturally to ask others for help or assessments...everybody agreed to help others for a certain time of the day: whatever it was from coding problems to legal things...however, maybe adult education can think about what supports an culture of sharing and collaboration
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4 – What incentives to learn can employers provide? 
Employers can encourage their employees to adhere to qualification solutions by providing tailor-made training for each employee. This can be done by designing an individual training plan that combines the life history of each worker with its expirations and the needs of the companies. 
In Portugal was created in 2017 the Passport Qualifica. This passport is a tool that companies can use for the management and training of their human resources. The use of this tool is completely free and can be done by enterprises in association with Qualifica Center (these centers have specialized professionals who can assist companies in identifying the best qualification paths for each worker). The Passport Qualifica allows human resources managers to perceive in an integrated way what training the worker already has and how far away he / she can is from what he / she wants, proposing solutions to obtain the necessary training to reach a certain level of qualification. As all studies report, workers tend to be motivated to obtain more qualification when they have a higher level of qualification. Therefore, if companies take the first step they will be able to position workers on a new level from which workers themselves become more interested in further qualification and accept to participate in lifelong learning activities. A good incentive also involves the possibility of workers training in the workplace. 
In Portugal, Qualifica Centers often goes to companies, ensuring that the processes of recognition, validation and certification of competencies are carried out there.  
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Adult education could gain its own experience of how a culture for sharing and collaboration could best be developed...it could start with small trainings to gain that experience...over time it should become apparent what adds value under what circumstances...that experiences could help companies by building on top of this experiences...
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I think that's a very important point - a lot of people are brought up in a competitive and defensive environment, so that true collaboration and idea sharing seems foreign. There are real benefits in learning from start-up culture, co-working spaces etc.
We should think about a course to switch to that kind of working and thinking a bit more...
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I have posted the second set of questions for this afternoon's discussion, but of course we have already addressed both in parts in our discussion this morning. So, please feel free to refer to earlier messages (or just cut and paste earlier comments) as I am sure that new people will join and will find it difficult to find your earlier comments. 
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How can employers create cultures of learning in their workplaces that support their employees in responding to the demands placed on them and flourishing in their careers? What incentives to learn can employers provide? How can governments ensure that their adult learning policies are proactive, prevent skills deficits of those in employment, rather than just responding when people become unemployed?
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I often find the issue isnt that the employer want to create a learning cluture but the staff dont want to engage, its usually the other way around. Staff want courses to further their career or to brush up on their skills but companies are not willing to invest. "What happens if I train my staff and then they leave?" well, What happens if you Don't and they stay!  
I often need to show a business case to get the employer to see the benifit of time off for their staff to train. (the funding often comes from goverment or EU funds rather than the company). If i show that the courses will help grow the company, keep them cometative, save them money, increase the chance of promotion for staff memebers ect, then they are willing. Otherwise learning doesnt happen. 
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Most learning at work is informal – we learn from each other by observing, talking and trying out new skills. How can adult education engage with employers in order to validate such learning – making adults’ skills more visible without creating cumbersome qualification systems?
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Even if it is challenging to categorize and validate informal learning, at work and in life generally, this is becoming increasingly crucial, in order to highlight multifaceted learning outcomes, recognize the expertise gained through previous working experiences and facilitate its transfer in a new working environment. Job descriptions provide incomplete views of the complexity of most of the jobs, limiting it to a mere list of actions and tasks to be finalized. Adult education's role, in this regard, would be to assist the awareness-acquisition process from both sides - employer and employees -in term of making employees more conscious of their expertise and offering the employers tools to better and more globally carry out job description and specification.
For example, in order to make informal learning showy, could be undertaken self-directed learning initiatives that bring employers and employees together (e.g. online portfolios, thematic platforms, learning diaries), with the aim to try to describe and bring to surface work experiences and their related problems and solutions. This would not just promote awareness among different stakeholders, but also provide a valuable source of information for the newly hired workers, who could learn through different channels from colleagues' experiences.
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I believe that lifelong learning is the key to assist adults working in such an economy. Pupils from school age should be equipped with skills that are imperative for them to learn independently. Such skills help students, who eventually grow into adult learners, to be able to acquire knowledge that they would need if, for instance, they change jobs. These skills are the 21st century skills mainly communication, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, that are a must to acquire in today’s world.
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In terms of identifying, validating, and promoting the new skills that underpin the effectiveness of workers in this "new contexts" or  in the "traditional contexts" we think that National qualification systems need to pay more attention to non-formal and informal education through instruments that can certify competencies that do not come only from school curricula.

In addition, they need to be able to take an approach focused on learning outcomes based of competencies, attitudes and concrete knowledge.

In Portugal, Qualifica Centers already allow an adult to identify, validate and certify what the adult has acquired through their professional experience. So, Qualifca Centers have a reference framework of key competencies that enables the assessment of the adult and identify what may be missing to obtain a certain level of qualification. What is missing must be acquired through training.

At the moment, Portugal is working on updating the reference framework of basic level competences, considering no only the new literacies but also the importance of soft skills, digital skills, entrepreneurship, leadership, etc.

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Thank you Ana.
The relationship between National Qualifications Frameworks and career development is an interesting one. Have employers been involved in the development of the competence frameworks? 
I wonder if other countries have also invested in developing systems of validation such as the one you mention.  
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Thank you David
As for your question  “Have employers been involved in the development of the competence frameworks? “ we can say that we have an open model of Consultation for the Update of the National Qualification Catalog. It is a mechanism for permanent consultation and extended to all entities of the National Qualifications System that enables interested entities to submit proposals for updating the National Qualifications Catalog. In this way, it will be able to support its updating dynamics, which is mainly based on the initiative of the National Agency for Qualification and the Sectorial Councils for Qualification. 
The Sectorial Councils for Qualification are technical and consultative working groups  whose main objectives are to continuously identify the needs of updating the National Qualifications Catalog and to collaborate with the National Agency for Qualification and Professional Education (ANQEP) in the work leading to this updating and development. The Sectoral Councils have an eminently strategic function and function as a first line of a more operational work that is intended to develop in a logic of network and cooperation.
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I think it is a good idea or concept to know about your own skills and abilities. A friend of mine did a competence test as well and really recommends it. But the point which puzzles me is the Portfolio, because the Portfolio is like a certification of your Soft skills. Thus, you can use it for applying a job and additionally have a paper which confirms your own Skills. I'm afraid that employers only focus on this competence test instead of getting to know the future employee. Another point is, using or taking the test to cover and meet the employment market, which promotes in my opinion the achieving society. Nevertheless, I think it is a good idea to learn about my own Skillts and decide what I want to acquire.
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Has the big change in workplace culture been made evident to the employers? Perhaps, we should be starting to bring awareness of AE with the employers?

What could it be possible to read about the new workplace culture, any references?

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Hi Silvija.
In Portugal the new strategy for Adult Learning (with OCDE and EC support) recent presented (may2018) mentiones as one of their priorities (Three) "increase awareness....especiallly among ....employers".You can access it @ http://www.oecd.org/skills/nationalskillsstrategies/Action-Report-Portu…. Executive summary here: http://www.oecd.org/skills/nationalskillsstrategies/Action-Report-Portu…;
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Hi David, and all the other participants in the  online-discussion. I am currently  teaching a course on "fields of practice in adult education" at the University of Graz/Austria. The course is part of our (Master-)study programme "Adult Education". A group of students engages actively in this discussion today and I just would like to thank you for the interesting exchange, which provides a great opportunity for us to discuss with international experts in the field, but also to share experiences and thoughts of students in adult education.
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