Adulthood is a variable concept defined by social norms and roles. This means that adulthood is a concept that can be defined differently in different geographies, cultures and times. Adulthood, which describes adult status, generally calls for independence, self-decision, and emancipation (Duman, 2000, 102).

Adults with their specific developmental characteristics also differ in their learning characteristics. For this reason, the content of adult programs should be prepared according to adult learning characteristics.

Bülbül, summarizes these learning characteristics of the adult at the following points:

1. The adult waits to answer their needs from their educational programs.

2. The adult does not like being a passive viewer during training.

3. Adults are generally heterogeneous groups in terms of their learning needs and personal characteristics that influence the learning process (Bülbül, 1987, 37).

Adult Education

The concept of adult education is defined by many institutions and people in different ways.(Duman (2005). While defines adult-oriented and non-professional activities, the Adult Education Terms Glossary provides a very comprehensive definition of UNESCO adult education;

Adult education content means that adults considered as adult learners are required to improve their skills, improve their knowledge, improve their technical or professional competence, or take advantage of this ability, regardless of the content, level and method of adult education, whether the extension of primary education applied in schools, universities or apprenticeship is considered, knowledge and competencies and to change their attitudes and behaviors both in terms of personal development and in participation in a balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development.

The Organization for World Economic Cooperation (OECD) defines adult education as:

Adult education encompasses activities and programs organized for this purpose to meet the learning needs and interests of those who have been out of compulsory schooling and whose main occupation is no longer to go to school at any stage of their lives.

In general, we look at adult education as a process of adult education that allows adult thinkers to improve their skills, improve their knowledge, improve their technical or professional competence, and change attitudes and behaviors both in terms of personal development and in participation in balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development (Titmus, Buttedahl, Ironside and Lengrand, 1985).


Reasons for Adult Education

The reasons for participation in adult education can be addressed in various ways. For example, investigated the causes of organized education, economic and technological reasons, and social reasons under three headings Okçabol (1996) and Duman (2000), while addressed public education in terms of economic and social necessity Celep (2003). Moreover, the necessities need for adult education are also considered as individual, institutional and social needs (Ünlühisarcıklı, 2013).

Ural (2007, 12-43) categorized adult education into eight titles that require it.

1. Rapidly Developing Technology

2. The Extension of Human Longevity

3. Increase in the Time of Formal Training Participation

4. Changes in Work / Professional Life

5. Changing Status of Women

6. Changes in the concept of leisure time

7. Education Life-long Need

8. Democracy, Increase in Human Rights Demands

When we look generally; the needs of adults to participate in educational programs can vary according to societies, regions, groups, individuals, time and circumstances (Dodurgali, 2006).

As a result; Because the world is in a process of rapid change and structured education alone is not enough to adapt to these changes and developments, adult education is needed so that individuals can renew, develop, collect and adapt to the world.




Bülbül, S. (1987). Dünyada ve Ülkemizde Yaygın Eğitim. Türk Eğitim Derneği XI. Eğitim Toplantısı Bildirisi. (s. 37). Ankara.

Celep, C. (2003). Halk Eğitimi. Anı Yayınları, Ankara.

Duman, A. (2000). Yetişkinler Eğitimi. Ütopya Yayınlar. Ankara.

Duman, A. (2005). Türkiye’de Yaşam Boyu Öğrenme Siyasalarını Oluştur(a)mamanın Dayanılmaz Hafifliği. Yaşam Boyu Öğrenme Sempozyumu (9-10 Aralık 2004). PegemA Yay. Ankara

Dodurgalı, A. (2006). Yetişkin Din Eğitimi Modeli. F. Bayraktar (Ed.), Yetişkinlik dönemi eğitimi ve problemleri kitabı içinde (s. 365-400). Kahraman Basımevi.

OECD. (1977). Learning Opportunities for Adults: General Report. Paris. OECD.

Okçabol, R. (1996). Halk Eğitimi (Yetişkin Eğitimi). Der Yayınları, İstanbul.

Titmus, Colin. Buttedahl, Paz. Ironside, Diana ve Lengrand, Paul (1985), Yetişkin Eğitimi Terimleri. Çeviren: F.Oğuzkan. Ankara: UNESCO Türkiye Milli Komisyonu Yayınları.

Ünlühisarcıklı, Ö. (2013). Yetişkin Eğitimini Gerektiren Nedenler. F. Sayılan ve A. Yıldız (Ed.), Yaşam boyu öğrenme sempozyum kitabı içinde (s.85-104). Ankara, Ankara Üniversitesi Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü: Pegema Yayıncılık.

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