Adult Education and Learning in a Precarious Age: The Hamburg Declaration Revisited: New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Number 138

Overview

UNESCO’s 1997 CONFINTEA V conference in Hamburg has been described as the high-water mark of international adult education policy-making. It produced one of the most utopian statements about adult education and learning of the past 25 years: the Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning and Agenda for the Future.

Adult education was declared key to the twenty-first century in order to build “a world in which violent conflict is replaced by dialogue, a culture of peace based on ...

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Overview

UNESCO’s 1997 CONFINTEA V conference in Hamburg has been described as the high-water mark of international adult education policy-making. It produced one of the most utopian statements about adult education and learning of the past 25 years: the Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning and Agenda for the Future.

Adult education was declared key to the twenty-first century in order to build “a world in which violent conflict is replaced by dialogue, a culture of peace based on justice . . . and the creation of a learning society committed to social justice and general well-being.” However, the Declaration also recognized that there were many practical challenges to its implementation as profound changes were occurring in social, economic, environmental, and political spheres.

In this volume, North American and international scholars critically assess how far the visionary statements of the Hamburg Declaration have been advanced and implemented. They:

  • Review the recent development of the 10 themes of the Agenda for the Future
  • Explore their local and global achievements through considering the results of the 2009 CONFINTEA VI conference and other related policy developments
  • Outline what is still necessary to realize the Declaration’s goals.

This is 138th volume of this quarterly report series. Noted for its depth of coverage, it explores issues of common interest to instructors, administrators, counselors, and policymakers in a broad range of adult and continuing education settings, such as colleges and universities, extension programs, businesses, libraries, and museums.

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Table of Contents

EDITORS’ NOTES 1
Tom Nesbit, Michael Welton

1. Subjects to Citizens: Adult Learning and the Challenges of Democracy in the Twenty-First Century 9
Michael Welton

This chapter discusses the Hamburg Declaration’s concern for promoting active citizenship and revitalizing civil society through an examination of the Arab Spring and Occupy movements.

2. Literacy and UNESCO: Conceptual and Historical Perspectives 19
Daniel Wagner

UNESCO has long promoted literacy as a top priority. This chapter reviews recent developments and argues that excellence will only be assured when UNESCO encourages technical leadership and innovation within and between nations.

3. Adult Education of Women for Social Transformation: Reviving the Promise, Continuing the Struggle 29
Nelly P. Stromquist

This chapter compares and contrasts the conceptual and policy advances regarding gender in the final documents emanating from the two most recent CONFINTEA conferences.

4. From the Quixotic to the Pragmatic: The Hamburg Declaration, Adult Education, and Work 39
Amy Rose

This chapter examines the legacy of the Hamburg Declaration in regard to work. It lays out the failure to integrate its goals into real work situations and analyzes some of the ways the workplace has changed over the past fifteen years.

5. Adult Learning, Education, and the Environment 49
Darlene E. Clover, Robert Hill

This chapter considers recent developments in environmental adult education, assesses the impact of the Hamburg Declaration, and suggests ways to move forward.

6. Adult Learning and the Promise of New Technologies 61
Dejan Dinevski, Marko Radovan

This chapter examines the challenges and possibilities of digital technologies in supporting and promoting access to adult learning and fostering adults’ interactions with other cultures and society at large.

7. The Gap Between Aspiration and Practice 71
Alan Tuckett

This chapter traces the impact of international cooperation on the policies and practices of adult learning and education, and their specific effecton underrepresented groups.

8. The Economics of Adult Education 81
Richard Desjardins

This chapter critically assesses the worldwide state of investment in adult education by reviewing the achievements of the Hamburg Declaration in light of the recent CONFINTEA VI conference.

9. Whither Utopia? 91
Tom Nesbit

This chapter summarizes the achievements of the Hamburg Declaration and discusses the role of various institutions in shaping adult education policy and discourse. It suggests how the hope and promise of the Hamburg Declaration might be reaffi rmed and reenergized.

INDEX 101

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