Maja Maksimović

Assistant Professor at University of Belgrade, researcher at the Institute for Pedagogy and Andragogy, project coordinator in the Adult Education Society (Serbia)

Nominated by: Adult Education Society

I am Assistant Professor at the Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy, University of Belgrade, researcher at the Institute for Pedagogy and Andragogy, and project coordinator in the Adult Education Society.

Adult Education Society is the main national organization in this field in Serbia. We have organized many lobby and advocacy activities, conducted numerous national and European projects, delivered hundreds of trainings and organized many activities for promotion of ALE.

Thanks to my bachelor, master and PhD in adult education I have an in depth knowledge of the field. Additional to teaching adult education at University of Belgrade, I was a guest professor at the Goldsmith University of London and University of Kaiserslautern, and visiting scholar at the University of Coimbra, Portugal.

I do research in several areas of adult education and learning, such as European educational policy and comparative education, philosophy and critical discourses of ALE, intercultural and civic education. I am committed to ground my research in the practical work with adults as an experienced trainer and facilitator in several areas of AE and LLL in diverse cultural contexts. As a consultant I worked with organisations including OSCE, UNESCO, UIL, USAiD, GIZ, DVV International, KulturKontakt, ICAE, etc. As part of my continuous professional development I obtained Swiss state certificate for adult training.

Furthermore, I was engaged in numerous EU and non-EU projects with an expertise in adult education in EU accession countries. I am also a member of InSEA (International Society for Education through Art), BASOPED (Balkan Society for Pedagogy and Education), and ESREA (in the year 2016 I edited an ESREA publication Contemporary Issues and Perspectives on Gender Research in Adult Education). I am also a deputy Editor of adult education journal Andragogical Studies, and author of numerous publications in scholarly journal, but also in online adult education magazines such as ELM.

How do you want to contribute to the work of EAEA, based on your experience in your organisation?

Being an EAEA board member for three years, I learned a lot about the work of organization, its potentials and challenges, and about the European adult education policy. I have gained insight into the problems that civil society is confronted with in its fight for adult education as a human right. I am dedicated to strengthen the role that civil society plays at both national and European level.

I am motivated by the desire to apply my varied experience in the area of adult education to support links between research, practice, and policy. Having experienced different roles in the field (academic, researcher, trainer, activist) I gained multiple perspectives on the adult education issues, which I would use to enrich EAEA advocacy work. I build my arguments both on extensive research and on practical work with adult learners that can inform policy making. I would like to bring this experience to EAEA in order to strengthen evidence base advocacy work and to improve the recognition of the role of adult education.

My work on national and regional level has been supported by my international activities, such as participation in ICAE activities – GA 2015 and 2011, GEO meeting in Brazil 2016 and GRALE III launch in Belgrade. The participation helped me to understand the European policies in the global context.

I am committed to the popularization of educational paradigms that are based on the human rights approach, personal development and social cohesion.

What are your motivations as a board member?

As an EAEA board member I’ve been concerned about unequal participation of South and Eastern European countries in European educational spaces due to financial constraints, which requires new ways of cooperation and networking.

My intention is to contribute to EAEA as a truly European organization including members and issues from South and Eastern Europe, considering problems and challenges of adult education of EU and non-EU countries and fostering networking and exchange among them.

Which other information about you would you like to share with the EAEA members?

Besides being a teacher and a trainer, I continue to be a passionate learner! I am learning Portuguese and Spanish, visit contemporary dance classes which helps me to connect art with adult education. I cooperate with museums, theatres and cultural institutions and together we develop and experiment with arts based educational activities.