Adult Education Academy

    Prof. Sabine Schmidt-Lauff

    What excites you about adult learning and education?

    "The diversity, heterogeneity, inconsistency and ever-changing tasks that practice, science and politics - with the goal of 'education for all adults' - meet accordingly, are a great challenge and at the same time the fascinating thing about adult education for me. It is about cultivating human learning over the longest phase of life (50 and more years of adulthood). As a universal human right, this is a call to ensure that spaces and times are created, defended and preserved in which adults have the opportunity to pursue their learning and educational interests, and indeed to develop them in the first place."

    Why did you choose to do research in the field of adult learning and education? 

    "For me, 'adult education' also includes a variety of quite controversial approaches about the role of (lifelong and lifewide) learning in this rapidly changing world, which is fundamentally critical of modern, optimizing interpretations of a functional self-regulated learning. The (German) concept of BILDUNG is part of a democratic tradition, too, which - we see this more than ever at present - is characterized by very fragile relationships between subject and society, individual and world, self and structure, politics and opinion. If I were to name my 'favorite', very own research focus, it is time and the meaning of temporal phenomena in the context of adult learning. TIME FOR LEARNING! In the preoccupation with the (professional) cultivation of learning, time plays such a significant and fundamental role that it is, in my view, incomprehensible how it can be repeatedly overlooked. The research of time-related educational science is so helpfull to connect across disciplines as well as across national borders. It opens doors into the future ... worldwide!"


    Sabine Schmidt-Lauff holds the Professorship for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning at Helmut-Schmidt University of Hamburg since September 2016. Since 2020, she has been a member of the newly established Senate Committee for International Affairs (Senatsausschuss für Internationales) of the HSU. She is a member of the German Society for Educational Sciences (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaften DGfE), Adult Education Section and was Chairperson of the Board from 2010 to 2014. She was Guestlecturer and Sub-Coordinator of the Autumn School (University of Delhi; Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension; IGNOU (Delhi); IIALE (Delhi), University of Würzburg) in the framework programme Indian and European Insights of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She has also been involved in the COMPALL (Comparative Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning; 2015 - 2018) project and currently in the INTALL (International and Comparative Studies for Students and Practitioners in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning; 2018 - 2021) ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnerships for higher education (KA2) project as a project partner. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Open Access Journal 'Journal of Comparative Studies and International Education (JCSIE)', an editorial board member of the 'Hessische Blätter für Volksbildung' (Frankfurt a.M.) and of the (international) advisory board of the ZfW (Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung), also an Open Access Journal. She is a reviewer for the DFG (German Research Foundation) and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

    • professionalisation and professionalism in adult education
    • professional identity
    • and international-comparative research on lifelong learning
    • Professional acting in adult and continuing education
    • research and numerous national as well as international publications on temporal and time-related challenges for learning throughout the whole lifespan in a globalised and virtualised modern world

    CG7: Digitalisation in adult education and learning

    Co-Moderators: Dr. Emmanuel Jean Francois

    Organisations and educational institutions have used various digital technologies to facilitate adult education and learning in order to provide a better learning experience to adult learners. Such phenomenon is called digitalisation of adult education and learning. Although such digitalisation started decades ago, the emergence of the global pandemic corona virus (COVID-19) has produced an acceleration. The lockdown and inability to continue to provide adult education in-person has resulted in the used of digital technologies as the primary means to resume and continue with teaching and learning. The digitalisation of adult education and learning affects, if not all, most countries in the world. However, the policies, guidelines, approaches, and practices of digitalisation may vary based on socio-cultural, socio-economic, and/or socio-political contexts of nations and regions of the world. This module intends to enable participants to critically and appreciatively (Watkins & Mohr, 2001) analyse the digitalisation of adult education and learning in national/cultural and cross-national/cross-cultural contexts. More specifically, participants who attend this comparative group will be able to:

    1. Analyse the availability, access, and utilisation of digital technologies in adult education and learning;
    2. Identify and discuss policies, guidelines, approaches, or strategies used in the digitalisation of adult education and learning;
    3. Compare the digitalisation of adult education learning between two or more countries.

    For more information about the comparative group have a look at our programme!

    1. BENZ-GYDAT, M./PABST, A./PETERSEN, K./SCHMIDT, K./SCHMIDT-LAUFF, S./SCHREIBER-BARSCH, S. (2021): Erwachsenenbildung als kritische Utopie? Diskussionen um Mündigkeit, Gerechtigkeit und Verantwortung. Frankfurt/M.: Wochenschau Verlag. https://www.hsu-hh.de/wb/wp-content/uploads/sites/647/2021/01/Erwachsenenbildung_als_kritische_Utopie-.pdf
    2. NATÁLIA, A/ SCHMIDT-LAUFF, S./ DOUTOR, C./ CAMPOS, L. (2020): Contexts of Recognition of Prior Learning. A comparative study of RPL initiatives in Brazil, Portugal, and Germany. In. Despotovic, M. & Popovic, K. (eds.). Andragoske studije/Andrago ical Studies, (2)2021 – Articles. Open Access: [15.06.2021] file:///C:/Users/schmidts/AppData/Local/Temp/AS_2020-2_04.pdf
    3. SCHMIDT-LAUFF, S. (2019): Learning towards the future – Rethinking temporal contingencies. In: Indian Journal of Adult Education, Vol. 80(3-4), p. 5-15. ISSN 0019-5006. Delhi (India)



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