Adult education – liberty, fraternity equality?


Nordic views on lifelong learning
Rinne, Risto; Heikkinen, Anja; Salo, Petri
978-952-5401-28-8; 1458-1094
Finnish Educational Research Association / Suomen kasvatustieteellinen seura
Research in educational sciences / Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia (28)

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité were the symbolic words and shouts of millions and millions hopes in the mouths of millions and millions people all around the world in the 18 th and 19 th century. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité are still the symbols of democracy during the 20 th and 21 st century.

These wishful words have not lost their meaning during the centuries, although they historically represent the birth of the modern world and reflect the thoughts of enlightenment already in the 18 th century. They were realized in the French revolution and the tricolor flag.

The Nordic countries have taken seriously the whispers of the enlightenment. They have transferred the words into the field of education. In the name of enlightenment Nordic countries were among the first to develop a wide adult education system in order to cultivate their adult population. They believed, that it is education which gives the people the liberty, equality and fraternity. The very core of the idea of the Nordic welfare state is educational equality as the spearhead to the social equality of the whole nation.

In this book we reflect together the state of the art of adult education research in the Nordic countries in the beginning of the third millenium. What is left of the historical tradition of enlightenment and the hopes of the people? Has there been a change in the politics of Nordic adult education research towards the neo-liberalism? What are the challenges of today and how they may be answered? What has the Nordic adult education research to offer to the wider audience of the globalising world?

Some answers to these questions are suggested in this book. The answers are presented by the most eminent as well as by junior researchers within the field in Nordic adult education research. Have a seat and read.

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