Research in adult education and lifelong learning in the era of CONFINTEA VI
The aim of this paper is to reflect on past discussions in order to see how far we have travelled in terms of research over the past 12 years, identify some of the continuities and look at the significance of some of the changes that have taken place in order to inform our agenda for the future. This paper starts with some conceptual definitions in relation to the keywords in this title, which in themselves are by no means unproblematic. It then comments on the previous era of CONFINTEA V, some 12 years earlier and the discussions that were taking place then, and indeed before then, for the African context. For that reference is made to the journal publication by DVV International in 1995, which reported on an adult education conference that was dedicated to research trends and issues of the time. The remainder of the paper discusses documentation that led up to and immediately followed the international CONFINTEA VI conference on adult education in Brazil in December 2009. The focus is on the African context. I suggest that a research agenda for adult education and lifelong learning in the era of CONFINTEA VI might be subdivided into research for: practice change; base-line data; critical awareness and social purpose; and African identity. The core argument is that the current era potentially lends itself to a more radical agenda for Africa than might have been the case in the past.
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