Adult Education Academy

Prof. Paula Guimarães

What excites you about adult learning and education?

" I like to learn more about adult learning and education policies, practices and research in order to be more critical in what concerns discourses in adult learning and education policies at the international and national levels, as well as in what happens in different education and learning contexts (formal, non-formal and informal) and to be critically aware and informed about the developments in research, in the different streams that we can find."

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

"To do research in adult learning and education was part of my first job after finishing my Bachelor's degree. I had then the chance to learn with colleagues how to develop several kinds of research (quantitative and qualitative), by using several data collection techniques. I wrote several research reports and had the chance to present data in workshops, conference, etc. I enjoyed very much this experience and still today, as a lecturer, research is my favourite part of my daily work."


Paula Guimarães is an assistant professor at the Instituto de Educação, Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal) since 2012. She did her PhD on Education Policies, in adult education, and has been studying adult education policies established, implemented and assessed at national and international levels. 

Her main interests have been the link that might be established among different levels (mega, macro, meso and micro) of education policy conception and implementation.

International strategies in adult education

Master’s students, doctoral students and practitioners working on “International strategies in adult education and lifelong learning” in the first week of the Adult Education Academy will use a policy analysis perspective. This perspective will enhance their analytical skills by integrating and analysing different perspectives. The theoretical analysis perspective is accompanied by field visits to adult education providers in and around Würzburg. Presentations of international adult education organisations (EAEA, ICAE, DVV Internation-al) will complete the programme. These insights will be applied to the analytical models as case studies.

CG4: Domains of adult learning and education and logics of action: adult educators and hybrid professionalism

Co-Moderator:  Dr. Lisa Breitschwerdt Prof. Lucas Pacheco Campos

The field of adult learning and education is traditionally very heterogeneous and intersects with many other fields (e.g. cultural field, education in enterprises, integration into the labour market). This impacts in the lack of clarity about the nature of the job profiles of adult educators and about the concrete activities they carry out in the different domains of practice that can be found in different countries. Adult learning and education is a differentiated and heterogeneous field of practice, including several domains, such as liberal/non-formal education, social development activities, second-chance education and vocational education and training, among others. The heterogeneity and differentiation of the field of practice, characterised by a wide range of domains, place special demands on the professionalism of adult educators. Adult educators work at interfaces where they have to mediate between different logics of action. According to Freidson (2001) three ideal typical logics of action can be identified. The logic of professionalism emphasises the autonomy in professional acting based on a specific expertise and refers to the traditional discourse about professionalisation in adult learning and education. The logic of bureaucracy refers to classical mechanisms of administration and comprises perspectives of hierarchy, governance, control and standardisation. These are closely related to educational policy and governmental structures imposed by public bodies, e.g. through defined standards that must be met by adult education organisations. The logic of economy includes the perspective on the free market, where the idea of supply and demand guides action and influences the planning and development of adult education offerings. The ways adult educators understand their job and the work that they achieved denote interdepended logics, a “hybrid professionalism” (Noordegraaf, 2007, 2015) that is to be developed and promoted in the specific organisational and social contexts of adult learning and education domains of practice (Egetenmeyer et al. 2019).

  1. CAVACO, C., PAULOS, C., AVES, N., GUIMARÃES, P. & FELICIANO, P. (2022). Insucesso escolar numa perspectiva de género – a perceção dos alunos. Educação e Sociedade, v. 43, e241548 DOI:10.1590/ES.241548
  2. LIMA, L. C., GUIMARÃES, P. & MIKULEC, B. (2022). The debate on intergovernmental organisations and adult learning and education policies: intersections between the political and scientific fields. International Journal of Lifelong Education. Pre-published. DOI:10.1080/02601370.2022.2110619
  3. GUIMARÃES, P. & MIKULEC, B. (2021). The paradox of utilitarian recognition of prior learning: the cases of Portugal and Slovenia. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, vol. 12, nº. 1, 109-122. DOI: 10.3384/rela.2000-7426.ojs1479
  4. MIKULEC, B. & GUIMARÃES, P. (2022). The OECD solutionism and mythologies in adult education policy: skills strategies in Portugal and Slovenia. Studies in Continuing Education. Pre-published. DOI:10.1080/0158037X.2022.2092090)
  5. MELO, A., LIMA, L.C. & GUIMARÃES, P.(ORGS.) (2021): Actualidade da Educação Permanente. Lisboa: espaço ulmeiro/APCEP.
  6. EGETENMEYER, R., GUIMARÃES, P. & NÉMETH, B.(EDS.) (2017): Internationalisation in Higher Education. Reflections on the Joint Module “Comparative Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning”. Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang GmbH.
  7. LIMA, L. & GUIMARÃES, P. (2012): Estrategias Europeas en el Aprendizaje Permanente. Una Introducción Crítica. Xativa (Valência): Ediciones del Crec.
  8. LIMA, L. & GUIMARÃES, P. (2011): European Strategies in Lifelong Learning: A Critical Introduction. Opladen & Farmington Hills, MI: Barbara Budrich.
  9. GUIMARAES, P. (2018): Les altres alfabetitzacions. Habitar l’educació d’adults: el treball dels nous educadors d’adults i aprenentatge al llarg de lavida. Quaderns d’Educació Contínua, 39-40, 26-35. DOI: 7103/QEC.40.13262.
  10. GUIMARÃES, P. & VALDERRAMA-HERNANDEZ, R. (2017): Fostering democratic pedagogy? The participatory budget in Lisbon (Portugal). Social Pedagogy Quarterly, 3(65), 67-83.
  11. GUIMARÃES, P (2017): The usefulness of adult education: lifelong learning in the European Union and the Portuguese public policy. Andragoška spoznanja/Studies in Adult Education and Learning, 2017, 23(4), 35-50. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.4312/as.23.4.35-50.



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 ⇒ Back to the Overview week 2