ERG SES D 06, Policies and Education
The comparative approach of this research gives insights into national adult education system characteristics and the complex variations of its provision in different countries. Focusing on publicly funded continuing higher education offered by universities, institutional framework conditions and their interrelations will be analysed.
International comparative country studies show the development from “universities to institutions of lifelong learning” (Dollhausen 2015). Different framework conditions can be linked to heterogeneous strategies and processes of universities, which in turn determine participation in continuing higher education (Hanft & Knust 2007). At the same time, there is only little information about university-based adult education programs (Schemmann 2014; De Viron & Davies 2015). Likewise, system structures of adult education in European countries are complex and show a big variety in their governmental regulations (Roosmaa & Saar 2017). Quantitative multilevel research shows for example that levels of participation in adult education differ from country to country and cannot be explained theoretically well founded (Boeren 2017).
The present research focuses on universities as providers of learning opportunities for adults and investigates the institutional contexts of continuing higher education and related governance structures.
Comparative country studies of England, Spain and Sweden investigate governance-related system characteristics and their interrelations in a multi-level adult education system. The educational governance perspective, the concept of neo-institutionalism and organizational references guide the theoretical approach. Within complex multi-layered educational systems the coordination of action of different actors is taken into account (Mayntz & Scharpf 1995; DiMaggio & Powell 1983; Maag Merki et al. 2014). A prominent continuing higher education heuristic conceptualizes the field of higher education governance into three ideal-typical models (state-centered model, Humboldt model and market-oriented model). Based on this typology internal governance structures of universities as well as the role of the state and other stakeholders are examined (Dobbins & Knill 2016). In order to make abstract statements on institutional contexts and provision structures accessible, a theoretical heuristic of Schrader is included. The model describes the institutional variety of adult education providers and distinguishes between four different reproduction contexts (context of communities, state, firms and market) (Schrader 2014) and was applied in a cross-country (Germany and UK) analysis of governance regimes of continuing university education. Findings recommend further case studies to gain deeper insights into the complex interrelations between actors in the multi-level system of university continuing higher education (Schemmann 2014). The focus on continuing higher education and its provision by universities enables an in-depth analysis of one segment in a heterogeneous and plural institutional field of adults’ learning. The study has a broader interest in:
- the description of institutional contexts and the provision of continuing higher education in the sample countries;
- the identification of interrelations between context (macro-level) and provision (meso-level) of continuing higher education;
- a comparative perspective: common and distinctive country features about actors and the coordination of action that can be related to national continuing higher education mechanisms;
- the identification of empirically based and governance related phenomena taking into consideration the theoretical background; and in
- capturing cross country perspectives to clarify adult education system structures.
Starting point for the methodological approach is the analysis of framework conditions and funding mechanisms, the coordination of action between different actors and their position in a multi-level system (Maag Merki et al. 2014; Mayntz & Scharpf 1995) with regard to continuing higher education. Universities are mostly committed to a public educational mandate and therefore subject to state-regulated control and financing mechanisms. This makes continuing higher education offered by universities empirically accessible through public documents, which is an important feature to the study design. Document analysis offers a suitable methodological approach, as documents can be seen as institutionalized traces and allow conclusions about the activities, intentions and considerations of their authors or the organizations they represent (Wolff 2017). In a first step, documents dealing with political communication, legal frameworks, administrative structures and financing elements of further and continuing higher education from the selected countries will be analysed. Their content is analysed ac-cording to the method of structured content analysis (Mayring 2010; Kuckartz 2012). Data is structured along inductive (categories derived from empirical data) and deductive (categories derived from theory) categories and analysed with the support of a code system in the MAXQDA software. The category system supports the identification of typical country features of continuing higher education offered by universities and allows a comparison between different national structures in England, Spain and Sweden. By observing these different institutional settings of continuing higher education and its provision at a country level similarities and differences of coordination of action within continuing higher education systems can be related to each other (Lamnek 2010). Through the analysis of several cases, findings about different multilevel phenomena of continuing higher education systems can be traced back to their national specific frameworks.
So far, the analysis is still in progress. With reference to the interest in the interplay between the macro- and meso-level of continuing higher education systems and its provision through different institutional frameworks in England, Spain and Sweden, findings about governance related phenomena are expected. The document analysis leads to the 1) description of national continuing higher education systems in different countries, 2) juxtaposition of similarities and contrasts of national continuing higher education systems and 3) transfer of governance related general statements about the adult education system. As an example, the document analysis of continuing higher education system in England already indicates stronger legal regulations than the market oriented model of Dobbins & Skill would lead us to expect. This in turn suggests that the coordination of action by various actors in England is more formalised than theoretically presumed. As mentioned above, Schrader’s framework model can be used to locate actors and actor constellations of continuing higher education provision in different adult education environments. In doing so theoretical frameworks can be reflected and if necessary modified. Last but not least systematic document analysis reveals system structures of continuing higher education in the case countries and generates data that provide a common information base about continuing higher education features. Furthermore, these data about one specific field of action can be reconnected to general adult education system characteristics. The knowledge about relationships between institutional framework conditions and institutionalized forms of adult education provision and empirical knowledge about system structures between the macro- and meso-level can be useful for further (comparative) analyses.
Boeren, E. & Holford, J. (2016). Vocationalism Varies (a Lot): A 12-Country Multivariate Analysis of Participation in Formal Adult Learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 66(2), 120–142. De Viron, F. & Davies, P. (2015). From university lifelong learning to lifelong learning universities: Developing and implementing effective strategies. In: Yang, J.; Scheller, C. & Roche, S. (Hrsg.). The role of higher education in promoting lifelong learning. Hamburg: UNESCO Institute for lifelong learning, 40-59. Dobbins, M., & Knill, C. (2016). Reformen der Hochschulsteuerung in Europa: Konzepte, Messung und empirische Befunde. In J. Schmid, S. K. Amos, & J. Schrader (Eds.), Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik. Internationalisierte Welten der Bildung: Bildung und Bildungspolitik im globalen Vergleich (1st ed., pp. 33-78). Nomos. Dollhausen, K. (2015). Hochschule als „offener“ Bildungskontext für lebenslanges Lernen? Befunde und Perspektiven für die empirische (Weiter-)Bildungsforschung. Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung - Report, 38(3), 333–346. Hanft, A. & Knust. M. (2007). Internationale Vergleichsstudie zur Struktur und Organisation der Weiterbildung an Hochschulen. Oldenburg. Zugriff am 22.08.2018. Verfügbar unter http://edok01.tib.uni-han-nover.de/edoks/e01fb07/540307149.pdf Kuckartz, U. (2012). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Methoden, Praxis, Computerunterstützung. Grundlagentexte Methoden. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz Juventa. Lamnek, S. (2010). Qualitative Sozialforschung: Lehrbuch; mit Online-Materialien (5., überarb. Aufl.). Grundlagen Psychologie. Weinheim: Beltz. Maag Merki, K., Langer, R. & Altrichter, H (2014). Educational Governance als Forschungsperspektive. Strategien. Methoden. Ansätze. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Mayntz, R., & Scharpf, F. W (1995). Der Ansatz des akteurszentrierten Institutionalismus. In: Mayntz, R., & Scharpf, Fritz W.: Gesellschaftliche Selbstregelung und Steuerung. Frankfurt a. M.: Campus; S. 39-72. Mayring, Philipp (2010). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse (11. Aufl.). Weinheim: Beltz. Roosmaa, E.-L. & Saar, E. (2017). Adults who do not want to participate in learning: A cross-national European analysis of their perceived barriers. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 36(3), 254– 277. Schemmann, M. (2014). Analysis of the governance of university continuing education in the United Kingdom and Germany. In Schemmann, M. (Ed.). Wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung im Kontext lebensbegleitenden Lernens: Internationales Jahrbuch der Erwachse-nenbildung 37 (2014), Köln: Böhlau Köln, 61-71. Schrader, J. (2014). Strategies of modernization and their effects on configurations of adult education: Theoretical assumptions and empirical findings. In B. Käpplinger & S. Robak (Eds.), Changing configurations in adult education in transitional times: International perspectives in different countries (pp. 57–71). Frankfurt am Main: Lang. Wolff, Stephan: Dokumenten- und Aktenanalyse. In Flick, Uwe u. a. (Hg.): Qualitative Forschung - Ein Handbuch. Reinbek bei Hamburg 2017, 502–513.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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