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EPALE - Elektronisch platform voor volwasseneneducatie in Europa


EPALE podcast May 2019: Can adult learning create active citizens

door EPALE Moderator
Taal: EN
Document available also in: EL PL HU

For EPALE's thematic focus on citizenship education, our thematic coordinators Andrew McCoshan, David Mallows, Markus Palmen and Simon Broek, got together to discuss the following questions:

  • Can adult learning turn inactive people into active citizens?
  • Is citizenship education a task for the state, adult learning providers or are there other organisatons involved?
  • Can one be an active citizen without critical thinking and digital competences these days?
Have you come across or created an innovative methodology for teaching adults civic skills? Perhaps you have been involved in or heard of a successful project that aimed to improve adults’ civic engagement or awareness of their democratic rights? Share your stories, tips, case studies and good practice examples on this page between 20-24 May and help to inspire adult learning professionals across Europe.

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  • afbeelding van DUSANA FINDEISEN
    Thank you.

    In the Erasmus+project Building Bridges for Europe and Association DANET critical thinking is a the core of our endeavours. But  not only exercising critical thinking but also thinking about it and about how to change ourselves.  Active  citizens cannot change the world without changing themselves. Thinking critically  means that we do not accept things as they are presented to us. We are interested in how we think, how the others think. Explanation, interpretation and analysis are used. Critical thinking enables individuals to make their own value judgments. In today’s society where fake news are produced, where populism rises, where abuse has become obvious, where obedient consumers are being fostered, where climate changes require changing attitudes, critical thinking is essential for each individual and community. Critical thinking means cultivating one’s own thinking processes, avoiding clichés and simple truths. Moreover, it means asking questions to understand, to build one’s knowledge on many data. 
  • afbeelding van DUSANA FINDEISEN
    Thank you. In my view one does not become an active citizen just like that since being an active citizen is not a state but a process depending on constant education, (gaining cognitive competencies) emotions, building attachment....and above all by upgrading or adding common goals and activities . At Slovenian Third Age University, established 35 years ago, as a common endeavour of different generations and different experts and volunteers we are convinced that structures created by citizens having established a clear mission serve as a platform for citizens' activities. Slovenian U3A chose study circle as its basic format with cognitive and activity goals serving local development, Moreover, over the last decade, Slovenian U3A has been conceptualising and dealing with socially engaged education and socially engaged art of older people ( social interaction within educational processes, carefully selected public sites etc) that often get transformed into social practices where U3A's students act as politicians, active citizens, ethnographers etc. for community's well being. Slovenian U3A stages a number of civil dialogues, sets up mutually supported structures and networks for learning and acting ( Each-one-teach-one). Slovenian U3A enacts active ageing with study programmes based on exploratory learning (understanding public space and its role), critical geragogy, silver economy, advocacy, let's become active citizen, critical thinking etc.