Pioneering Women and Men in European Adult Education (19th and early 20th Centuries)

ESREA Research Network History of Adult Education and Training in Europe

European seminar Paris, 4-6 July 2018: Call for proposals

The history of adult education has mostly focused on institutions: on their education or training activities, on the challenges these activities were supposed to respond to, or on ideologies in which they were rooted.

In this kind of research, some personalities have been recognized as influential figures for their role as initiators, leaders or inspiring examples. As in other domains of activities, researchers in adult education have more often focused on men rather than women. Although their contribution to the development of adult education in Europe was essential during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when no – or few – governmental adult education policies existed, there are many significant figures who do not feature in the literature.

Given the importance of individual actors in early European adult education,

surprisingly little has been written about these people, their biographies, motivations, and practices to promote the education of adults.

The aims of this European seminar are:

  1. explore biographical trajectories of theorist…
  2. identify new figures, more particularly women pioneers…
  3. provide the basis for a European biographical dictionary.