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Policies of adult education in Portugal and France: the European Agenda of validation of non-formal and informal learning

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Abstract:

This article analyses the influence of the European Union’s educational policies on the implementation of devices for the recognition and the validation of informal and non-formal learning within public policies on education and training for adults in European Union Member States. Portugal and France are taken as examples. The European Union’s statements have influenced the development of devices for recognizing adult competences, regardless of the social, cultural and economic specificities of each country. However, sociocultural and sociopolitical characteristics influence the conditions under which recognition devices and the methods of their experimentation and generalization emerge, and are the vector of conflicts of interests between macro- and micro-sociological levels. There is at the same time a ‘culture of convergence’ impelled by the European Commission, and a process of adaptation in matters of cultural and territorialised practices, which aim to avoid marginalization. Data are drawn from official documents and interviews with people in charge of training institutions.

Keywords: European Union; adult education; educational policies; validation of non-formal and informal learning

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2014.896086

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Education, University of Lisbon, Portugal 2: Institute of Education and Social Sciences, University of Paris-Est Créteil, France

Publication date: 2014-05-04

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