Young Adults and Active Citizenship: Towards Social Inclusion through Adult Education

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Natasha Kersh, Hanna Toiviainen, Pirkko Pitkänen, George K. Zarifis
Springer Nature, Apr 21, 2021 - Education - 182 pages
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This open access book sheds light on a range of complex interdependencies between adult education, young adults in vulnerable situations and active citizenship. Adult education has been increasingly recognized as a means to engage and re-engage young adults and facilitate their life chances and social inclusion thus contributing to an active citizenship within their societal contexts. This collection of chapters dealing with issues of social inclusion of young people represents the first book to explicitly approach the complex interdependencies between adult education, young adults in vulnerable situations and active citizenship from the European perspective.

Social exclusion, disengagement and disaffection of young adults have been among the most significant concerns faced by EU member states over the last decade. It has been increasingly recognised by a range of stakeholders that there is a growing number of young people suffering from the various effects of the unstable social, economic and political situations affecting Europe and its neighbouring countries. Young adults who experience different degrees of vulnerability are especially at risk of being excluded and marginalised. Engaging young adults through adult education has been strongly related to addressing the specific needs and requirements that would facilitate their participation in social, economic and civic/political life in their country contexts. Fostering the active citizenship of young people, both directly and indirectly, is an area where many AE programmes overlap, and this has become a core approach to integration.

This book considers social, economic and political dimensions of active citizenship, encompassing the development of social competences and social capital, civic and political participation and the skills related to the economy and labour market. The cross-national consideration of the notions of vulnerability, inclusion and active citizenship underpins the complexity of translating these concepts into the national contexts of adult education programmes.


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Chapter 1 Active Citizenship Lifelong Learning and Inclusion Introduction to Concepts and Contexts
Chapter 2 Active Citizenship Programmes for Unemployed Young Adults with Low Skills in Southern Europe Participation Outreach and Barriers
Chapter 3 Active Participatory Citizenship for and with Young Adults in Situations of Risk On the Cover and UnderCover
Chapter 4 Social Inclusion Participation and Citizenship in Contexts of Neoliberalism Examples of Adult Education Policy and Practice with Young P...
Chapter 5 How Are the Prospects for Refugees to Become Active Members of Society? The Vision and Practices in Turkish Adult Education
Chapter 6 Adult Education as a Means to Social Inclusion in Nordic Welfare States Denmark Finland and Sweden
Chapter 7 Promising or Compelling Future in Hungary?
Chapter 8 Transforming Adult Education from Neoliberal to Holistically Inclusive Adult Education in Baltic States
Chapter 9 Conclusion Divergences or Convergences? Facilitating Active Citizenship Through Adult Education Across Europe and Beyond

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About the author (2021)

Dr Natasha Kersh is a Lecturer in Education and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy,at the UCL Institute of Education (UK). Her research interests and publications relate to the study of VET, school-to-work transitions and adult education in the UK and international contexts. She has extensive experience of working and directing national and international projects such as EU-funded projects and UK-based ESRC (Economic and Social Science Research Council) funded initiatives. Natasha’s research and teaching activities involve active international collaborations and participation in a range of international initiatives including active collaborations with organizations and networks such as EPALE, CEDEFOP and and Asia-Europe Meeting Lifelong learning (ASEM-LLL) network. Natasha has authored/co-authored over 40 publications related to her field of study.
Hanna Toiviainen is Professor of Adult Education at Tampere University, Finland. In the EduMAP project she worked as co-coordinator and contributed to the broad research on adult education in the EU. Her other research interests relate to work-based learning in interorganizational networks. Drawing on the concepts of cultural-historical activity theory she has developed analytical frameworks for multi-layered expansive learning in the contexts of work-life learning networks and global workplaces. Recent studies address both industrial cooperation and client orientation in public social and health care. She is the co-editor of Working and Learning in Times of Uncertainty: Challenges to Adult, Professional and Vocational Education published by Sense in 2015.

Pirkko Pitkänen is Professor Emerita at Faculty of Education and Culture , Tampere University, Finland. Her areas of expertise include transnational migration, cross-cultural work and multicultural training. She has extensive experience in leading large-scale international and national research projects. These include five EU Framework Projects (FP3; FP5; FP7; H2020). She has published widely in national and international fields. Among her international publications are Migration and Transformation: Multi-Level Analyses of Migrant Transnationalism (Springer 2012); Characteristics of Temporary Migration in European-Asian Transnational Social Spaces (Springer 2018); Temporary Migration, Transformation and Development (Routledge 2019)

George K. Zarifis is Associate Professor of Continuing Education in the Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Education at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research interests focus on adult educators' training and professionalisation, university continuing education, and comparative examination of adult learning and vocational education and training policies and practices in Europe. He is the convener of the ESREA’s Research Network on the Professional Development of Adult Educators (ReNAdET). He publishes, edits and co-authors in the area of adult and continuing education, and participates in a large number of national and European research projects in the same field.

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