ENHANCE - ENHancing Adult learNers voiCEs

ENH.A.N.CE | ENHancing Adult learNers voiCEs
Duration: 30 months
Budget: 400,000 (lump sum)
- European Association for the Education of Adults (coordinator), Belgium
- SOLIDAR, Belgium
- ABC, Netherlands
- AONTAS, Ireland
- Färnebo folkhögskola, Sweden
- Das kollektiv, Austria
- Nevelők Háza Egyesület, Hungary
- Swiss Federation for Adult Learning, Switzerland (externally funded)

Project concept and rationale
The characteristics of adult learners and the unique nature of adult education make it imperative that adult learners are not only actively involved in the learning process but also shape it and progress it. Creating learning spaces where the educational process is based on the voice of the learner, inherently democratizes it leading to a deeper connection with both society and the learning topic at hand.
According to the EAEA policy paper on Life Skills and Participation (2019), a learner-centred approach, in which the curriculum is designed with an active participation of the learner, increases the relevance of learning for the adult, thus increasing their motivation to enrol in the course. Learner-led approaches are also key in addressing major global crises, such as the digital and green transition. The ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal or the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan cannot happen without having all citizens on board. Adult learning can support citizens in becoming activists in their own communities and shape decision-making processes.
EAEA members and the wider network of adult learning organisations in Europe are increasingly working on developing more learner-led approaches, from programme design, delivery and evaluation, to advocacy, representation and decision-making. Several initiatives that bring forward the voices of adult learners are currently running across Europe: from the Adult Learners’ Festival and the Learner Forum in Ireland, to learning ambassadors in the Netherlands or in the UK, to name only a few. According to adult learning organisations such initiatives would benefit from being upscaled: a significant number of EAEA members have an interest in learning more about learner-centred approaches (50% according to the 2023 member survey), but struggle to start the process. Across the sector, not only adult learning organisations or educators, but also learners themselves are used to perceiving their role as objects; systemic changes are needed to transform power relationships and to encourage truly participatory processes in adult learning (Kastner and Motschilnig, 2021).
This project will focus on bottom-up approaches and learners as agents of change in their communities, through the creation of a comprehensive and interactive matrix of existing initiatives that promote learners’ voices, the creation of a roadmap, set of recommendations and booklets for enhancing learners’ voices, as well as the development of a series of podcasts that will be socially activated in the public space.

Direct audience:
Macro level: policy level, civil society etc. – can concern settings that impart knowledge about the basic structures of politics and society.
Meso Level: adult education organisations, in which diverse opportunities arise for their relevant positioning in terms of activity policy.
Micro level: the people, the content, the learners, the educators, the methods

Priorities tackled:
● (HO) Inclusion and diversity in all fields of education
● (HO) Common values, civic engagement and participation
● (AE) Promoting local learning centres and innovative learning spaces
● (AE) Increasing take-up and improving inclusiveness and accessibility of adult education

  • 2024.01.012026.06.30