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EPALE 2022 Thematic Focuses

How can adult learning play a strategic role in imagining and building a future that is sustainable, inclusive and beautiful?

EPALE Thematic Focuses 2022.

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!

Young adults

Young adults

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.

Related theme: Young adults


Skills revolution

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!

Related themes: Individual learning accounts, Microcredentials, Teaching methods, Upskilling and reskilling


Learning communities

Learning communities

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?

Related themes: Community learning, Community spaces, Non-formal and informal learning, Social inclusion


Creativity and culture

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?

Related themes: Creativity, Cultural diversity, Culture



The four Thematic Focuses will stay with us throughout the year, so do not miss the chance to write a Blog post, or a News article, or suggest an Event and share a Resource!


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Kasmet įvardijamos pagrindinės "Epale" tematikos yra tarsi kelrodžiai, įgalinantys dar geriau suprasti pagrindines suaugusiųjų švietimo ir mokymosi visą gyvenimą tendencijas ir geriau atliepti suaugusiųjų bendruomenės mokymo(si) poreikius. Visos čia įvardintos tematikos yra labai įdomios ir aktualios, tačiau man pačiai šiemet labiausiai imponuoja tai, kad didesnis dėmesys atkreiptas į jaunus suaugusiuosius. Tai visiškai nereiškia, kad jie svarbesni už kitus suaugusiuosius. Priešingai, tai rodo, kad vis labiau suvokiama, kad suaugusiųjų besimokančiųjų bendruomenė yra labai įvairialypė (tai akivaizdu vien jau remiantis kartų teorija), o tai reiškia, ir turinti labai įvairius mokymosi poreikius. Tiek turinio, tiek metodikos, tiek ir mokymo(si) problemų prasme. 

Su tuo labai tiesiogiai susijusi ir kita šių metų tematika - įgūdžių revoliucija ir naujas požiūris - kurioje ypatingas dėmesys skiriamas individualaus mokymosi krepšeliams ir mikrokredencialų sistemai. Šios priemonės, savo ruožtu, turėtų užtikrinti, kad kiekvienas asmuo visą gyvenimą galėtų naudotis atitinkamomis mokymo galimybėmis, pritaikytomis jo poreikiams. O tai reiškia, kad tikėtina, jog tokios individualizuotos mokymo(si) priemonės pritrauks dar daugiau suaugusiųjų ir labiau atlieps jų mokymosi poreikius. 


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Mina tajun õpikogukonda enda ümber igapäevaselt - nii tööl, kodus kui ka kursusekaaslaste osas. Olen märganud, et mida rohkem ma õpin, seda rohkem mul huvi ka tekib - "süües kasvab isu". Tore on näha ka seda, et minu isutõusust on innustust saanud ka minu lähedased. Ülikoolis omandan teadmisi nii individuaalselt kui ka läbi jagamise kogukonnas, külvates neid teadmisi töö ja eraelu keskkondadesse edasi õpin läbi õpetamise. Paaril viimasel aastal olen kogenud ka vabatahtlikus organisatsioonis (naiskodukaitse) koosõpet, mida just nüüd raskel hetkel saame koos nii kasutada kui ka edasi külvata - kogukonna tunnetus on praegu võimas, au on seista õlg õla kõrval ja riik riigi kõrval.

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Opportunities for learning are great, essential and this innovative is fantastic. One thing worth mentioning is that people are already learning, every day. We need a system that can evaluate and certify that knowledge obtained in informal settings! Let's work on that. Get in touch if you have ideas about skills recognition. 

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Two Erasmus+ projects I'm involved in deal with inclusion paths of people with experiences of sever mental health issues and the involvement of local communities to encourage non formal learning on housing and living together.

I'd like to share ideas, suggestions and educational tools on the topic.  the web site where you can find information on the two projects: HERO and CIVIC

See you soon!  ;-) Paola Cavalieri

project manager at ASL ROMA2 - Department of Mental Health

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Great to see such variation in the themes and the emphasis on the individual and the community. Looking forward to opportunities to discuss and debate the themes.
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