Concepts of knowledge, subjectivity and adult education in European adult education policy
Dr. Borut Mikulec

Summary:   We argue that globalisation and Europeanisation processes in education mean that it is no longer possible to understand adult education merely as a national matter for individual European countries. Rather, adult education is a reflection of complex relationships and dialogical tension between the supranational and national levels, as an exchange of policies among networks of people, ideas and practices across Europe, in which European, transnational, national and local actors are involved. In this context, we briefly illustrate the process of the formulation of European education policy and analyse European adult education policy in detail. We show that while adult education has gained significantly in importance with the formulation of European adult education policy, on the other hand economic objectives have prevailed in adult education. In this context, and taking the tradition of critical theory and postmodernism in adult education theory as a starting point, we seek to prove the thesis that European adult education policy encourages above all an instrumental understanding of adult education, knowledge and subjectivity; in the foreground is a concept of knowledge with an effective value that is applicable to the labour market and is measurable, while adult education represents above all an instrument for the achievement of a European order of competitiveness and the desired subjectivities of adults.

Journal of Contemporary Educational Studies is
published with support of Slovenian Research Agency.