02 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session
Education is attributed a key role to economic and social development as well as personal well-being. Against this backdrop, the agenda of Lifelong Learning highlights the importance of adult education. Enhancing adult education participation (AEP), particularly in work-related further education and training, is a policy goal in (inter)national agendas (OECD 2012, CEC 2012, Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung).
Over and above, participation is a core concept in the science of adult education (Cookson 1986) and research so far has compiled a high number of studies dealing with the analysis of participation patterns. Among quite heterogeneous findings, results indicate a social divide: A high level of formal (vocational) education plus an active employment status are repeatedly reported to be powerful predictors for participation (e.g. Boeren 2009, White 2012). Despite a huge number of studies on AEP, research elaborating a conceptual framework for the explanation of AEP is comparatively rare (for an overview see Boeren et al. 2010, Scanlan 1986, Silva et al. 1998).
Against this background, there are sound critics that the actual body of knowledge on AEP is undertheorized and the models used simplify the complex conditions of participation, and thus cannot explain the underlying mechanisms of AEP adequately. Especially the lack of interdisciplinary approaches is a subject of discussion. In addition, critics on previous models concern a one-sided focus on the individual and its behaviour and attitudes as the most important predictors for participation, neglecting or underestimating the influence of structural aspects of AEP and the interplay with macro-level characteristics, such as the conditions of labour market, initial education system or relevant policy fields (e.g. Boren et al. 2010, Tight 1995, Yang 1998). In this respect, the explanation of AEP must refer to factors on the micro-, meso-, and macro-level and their interactions. The importance of characteristics on a national or macro-level has recently been emphasised by the findings of international comparative research, attributing cross-country differences in participation patterns to structural conditions of participation in the context of different types of welfare state regimes (Rubenson/Desjardins 2009), even though within the Nordic countries, again differences in participation appear, which must be attributed to yet other structural factors (Støren 2012).
This papers’ objective is the construction of an AEP-model, following the latest comprehensive model approaches with special emphasize on participation in work related further education. Participation is regarded as a successful matching process on a segmented further education market. Individuals and the corporate sector, which often is not sufficiently taken into consideration, determine demand. The supply is a response to the demand side and simultaneously constitutes an opportunity structure for the realisation of participation (Boeren et al. 2010, Kaufmann/Widany 2013). The constitution and development of the adult education market is further influenced by trends in relevant reference systems, such as the initial and vocational educational system, labour market, economy and several fields of policy.
Autorengruppe Bildungsberichterstattung (2012): Bildung in Deutschland 2012. [Education in Germany]. Bielefeld. Boeren, E./Nicaise, I./Baert, H. (2010): Theoretical models of participation in adult education: the need for an integrated model, in: International Journal of Lifelong Education 29/1: 45-61. CEC [Commission of the European Communities] (2011): Progress towards the Common European Objectives in Education and Training. Luxembourg. Cookson, P. S. (1986): A Framework for Theory and Research on Adult Education Participation, in: Adult Education Quarterly 36/3: 130-141. Kaufmann, K./Widany, S. (2013): Berufliche Weiterbildung – Gelegenheits- und Teilnahmestrukturen. In: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 16/1. OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] (2012): Education at a Glance 2012. Paris. Rubenson, K./Desjardins, R. (2009): The Impact of Welfare State Regimes on Barriers to Participation in Adult Education. In: Adult Education Quarterly 59/3: 187-207. Scanlan, Craig L. (1986): Deterrents to Education: An Adult Education Dilemma. ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Information Series No. 308. Silva, T./Cahalen, M./Lacireno-Paquet, N. (1998): Adult Education Participation Decisions and Barriers: Review of Conceptual Frameworks and Empirical Studies. (NCES Working Paper Series No.98-10). Støren, L.-A. (2012): Who attends work-related training five years after graduation? A comparison across European countries. In: International Journal of Lifelong Education (iFirst): 1-35. Thight, M. (1995): Education, work and adult life: a literature review, in: Research Papers in Education 10/3: 383-400. White, P. (2012): Modelling the "Learning Divide": Predicting Participation in Adult Learning and Future Learning Intentions, in: British Educational Research Journal 38/1: 153-175. Yang, Baiyin (1998): Longitudinal study of participation in adult education: a theoretical formulation and empirical investigation. In: International Journal of Lifelong Education 17/4: 247-259.
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