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Foggy Forest



PIMA members represent a mix from 46 countries across the globe – from Australia to Zimbabwe. This issue of the bulletin is a celebration of members.  In this general issue, we invited members from across the world to contribute a short article that focuses on their country or region and responds to the statement “Adult learning has become more/less important over the past 10 years”.  Alternatively, we also invited members to contribute a short article that described their current research interests or project/s.


In addition, we have commenced inviting members to reflect on their learning from the special issues of the Bulletin, and for this issue, Denise Reghenzani-Kearns has provided comments on the Special Issue on Later Life Learning. We were very pleased to receive a feature article from Idowu Biao on the relevance of traditional African pedagogies in the 21st century.

Reflections on the last decade

A mix of government support was identified across the countries that have responded to the invitation to contribute. Some, like North Macedonia, are in the initial stages of the Adult Education journey but have had the invaluable assistance of the late Chris Duke, Heribert Hinzen, and Mariana Matache designing and developing a policy. Most countries had some sort of government policy ranging from comprehensive (Brazil and Thailand) to a somewhat light touch (Aotearoa/New Zealand). Likewise, the organisation of Adult Education varied greatly- from a central government provision of services (Thailand) to a very much decentralised model, albeit supported by good Government funding (Aotearoa/New Zealand). Similarities revolved around what Adult Education is trying to achieve – from “Thriving Communities Transforming Aotearoa´ in New Zealand to “the ability to enable individuals to be equipped to handle changes in everyday life and to navigate continuous growth”  (Thailand). There is an interesting dichotomy of the role of Adult Education - “Community growth” versus “Individual Growth”. This could reflect a difference between collective cultures and those that value individuals over the collective. Another theme that emerges in the country reflection is “Adult Education” vs. “Lifelong Learning”. The concept of “Life-wide Learning” isn’t touched on at all. In Thailand, the Ministry of Education is responsible for Lifelong Education and Adult Education. One other theme is the ability of Adult Education to build a better society. In New Zealand, the growth of Māori language courses provided by Adult Education providers will result in a society that is more inclusive. In Brazil, quotas exist in universities to increase participation of minority groups. Thomas Kaun, in his essay that touches on Daoism, Confucius, and Buddhism, provides an interesting perspective from Singapore, particularly on how conversations and language influence social change.

Members Research

Members are engaged in a range of research on Adult Education. These vary from Eva Farkas' work on individual learning accounts and micro-credentials to Kathryn Braun’s work with native Hawaiians with a focus on expert teaching of traditional language, crafts healing practices, and philosophy to overcome the negative impact of colonisation. Yahui Fang from Taiwan provides a brief outline of the focus on social space to inquire about life and academic issues. Daniel Bladh is completing his PhD in Sweden on educating politicians and he is also working extensively with Ukrainian partners to support a tradition of popular adult education in Ukraine.


New Members Reflections

Serap Asar Brown contributes to knowledge production in the academic world through wearing a relational lens shaped by decolonisation, arts based eco feminist, and indigenous worldviews. Her research is on how to re (member), re (imagine), and re (story) our relationship to water with a specific focus on a creek in Victoria, British Columbia. Carolyn Medel-Anonuevo provides a perspective on her fascinating work across 9 countries in Southern Africa and how her development formulas had to be rethought when facing a new reality, such as a need to focus on boys where girls are doing well. 


Denise Reghenzani-Kearns provides a thought-provoking review of the Special Issue on later life learning, noting the ad hoc approaches to Lifelong Learning and the lack of sustainable government support.

Feature Article from Idowu Biao - The relevance of traditional African Pedagogies in the Twenty-First Century

At the PIMA AGM in 2023, Idowu spoke about African pedagogies, and this sparked his article where he discusses the role of school learning and out-of-school learning and the Western worldview compared to the traditional African worldview. He outlines the place of language within traditional African pedagogy, the usefulness of African pedagogy in modern times, and implications for training out-of-school learning facilitators.

We trust that you enjoy this general issue of the bulletin and would like to encourage members to send through updates on developments in your country, your current research, and commentaries on special issues of the Bulletin to President Shirley Walters, Secretary Dorothy Lucardie, or Membership Officer Colin McGregor.

Shirley Walters

Dorothy Lucardie

Colin McGregor

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