11.11.2015 - 13.11.2015

4th ESREA-ReNAdET biennial meeting: The role of higher education in the process of professionalisation of adult educators

Time:11.11.2015 - 13.11.2015

4th Biennial meeting of the ESREA Research Network for Adult Educators, Trainers and their Professionalisation (ReNAdET)

Invitation for paper proposals

The purpose of ESREA-ReNAdET biennial meetings is to bring together researchers, policy mak-ers and practitioners from the field to present and exchange their ideas on the role/s of adult educators and trainers in Europe as well as to discuss issues relevant to their professional status and development.

Adult educators have often acquired expertise within a subject area in the course of their initial studies, but often lack formal preparation for teaching adults prior to entering the profession and at its outset. Hence, it is worth questioning how prospective adult educators prepare them-selves to perform according to high quality standards in a changing working environment. With the increased interest in lifelong learning and adult education, the qualifications of those teach-ing adults becomes increasingly relevant. While a number of studies have focused on the qualification of adult educators and their need for competences, the question of initial education of those willing to enter the field of adult education has hitherto been rather limited.

In recent years, the concern about the need to qualify adult educators is shared among practi-tioners, academics and researchers. This is exemplified on the one hand, by the creation of ad-hoc training modules aimed at adult educators and, on the other hand, by the flourishing of national and cross‐national studies, which shed light on the influences of societal, educational and occupational contexts within which professional development among adult educators occurs. However, a relatively limited attention has been paid to the role of higher education insti-tutions on the initial education and training of adult educators‐to‐be, when compared to other fields of education (e.g. primary and secondary education). Furthermore, while a number of policies emphasise the quality of adult education and training provision, little attention is paid within current policy discourses on the role of higher education in the initial education and pre‐service training of prospective adult educators.

This biennial meeting focuses on the important yet less discussed role of higher education insti-tutions in both delivering academic programmes that provide relevant cognitive and professional skills and competences to future adult educators, and in being more actively involved in the current dialogue with regard to the professionalisation paths of adult educators and trainers.

A limited number of papers (max. 50) will be presented. Interested contributors may choose –but are not limited to– from the following shortlist of sub-themes:

  • Initial education and training of adult educators and trainers in higher education envi-ronments.
  • Types of programmes that are or can be provided by higher education institutions for the development of relevant professional competences by adult educators.
  • The role of universities as validating agencies of existing psycho-pedagogical compe-tences for in-service adult educators.
  • Ways in which adult education policies and initial education and training opportunities for prospective adult educators affect the role of higher education institutions in terms of academic orientation and programme delivery.
  • Existing social and cultural factors within higher education institutions that influence the formation of initial competences and qualifications of adult educators.
  • Higher education institutions as stakeholders in decision making processes concerning adult education.
  • Development of conduits among policy-makers and academics with regard to the professionalisation of adult educators.

Guidelines for submission of paper proposals

Proposals are invited for full papers only. Paper proposals should be sent as an attached file [either in *.doc, *.docx, or *.pdf format]. They should not exceed one A4 or 1000 words; they must include a title and keywords, but not the author/s name/s, affiliation or institution/s. Please send in a separate sheet your professional / personal data (name, institutional affiliation, phone, fax and mail). All abstracts for opinion papers must be submitted by June 14th 2015 to the following email addresses: maria.gravani (at) ouc.ac.cy and esrea.renadet (at) yahoo.com.

All paper proposals will be blind reviewed by the scientific committee. Acceptance will be confirmed by August 23rd 2015. Final versions of full papers (no more than 6000 words including references) must be submitted by Monday 19th October 2015. Paper presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in time length. The meeting presentations will be organised based on the Open Space method and will include flow sessions and learning cafés. Learning café is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group dialogue. Each flow session will have 4 to 6 cafés and trainees-guests can visit all of them in one session. The trainer-host will share their ideas with all the participants. The learning café host has 20 minutes max. for pre-senting and the same amount of time for discussion with trainees-guests. And then they will receive new trainees-guests in their café to hear their thoughts. Learning café hosts will keep notes from the discussion for later on conclusions. They may also use handouts or other presen-tation techniques in the café e.g. computers, posters, photos, i-Pads etc. They can bring their handouts with them to the event.

An intercative workshop focusing on teaching issues in higher education institutions will also be organised. This workshop will have as a theme "Teaching Narratives" and it will be provided by a small number of selected participants who will be able to organise their teaching experience in a narrative and/or interactive format by using a coopeartive approach with all other participants. Essentialy this workshop will focus on a single successful interactive teaching experience with adult educators in higher education context. Colleagues who are interested in participating in this workshop are requested to submit separately to their paper proposals, an A4 page describing their teaching narrative or story that will be enacted interactively, or a relevant video.

Important Dates

  • 14th June 2015 deadline of submission of paper proposals
  • 23rd August 2015 acceptance of paper proposals will be announced
  • 19th October 2015 full papers should be submitted
  • 20th August 2015 deadline for early bird registration
  • 9th October 2015 final deadline for registration and payment of the conference fee

Scientific Committee

  • Regina Egetenmeyer, University of Würzburg
  • Maria Gravani, Open University of Cyprus
  • Alexandra Ioannidou, Open University of Cyprus
  • Larissa Jögi, Tallin University
  • Wolfgang Jütte, Bielefeld University
  • Susanne Lattke, German Institute for Adult Education-DIE
  • Bonnie Slade, University of Glasgow
  • Georgios K. Zarifis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Organising Committee

  • Maria Gravani, Open University of Cyprus
  • Eleni Papaioannou, Open University of Cyprus

Conference Arrangements


The language of the conference and full papers is English.


More information will be communicated later.

Registration Fee

Early Bird Registration Fee

  • ESREA Members 60 €
  • Non-members 80 €
  • PhD Students 30 €

Registration fee after 20th August 2015

  • ESREA Members 120 €
  • Non-members 160 €
  • PhD Students 60 €

The fees include conference materials and refreshments (coffee, tea, light lunch) during the meeting; they exclude the conference dinner, any airport/hotel transfers and hotel accommodation.

ESREA Conference Bursaries for PHD Students

For the conference, three bursaries are available to PhD students who are individual members of ESREA, or studying at institutions which have institutional membership of ESREA. To be eligible, your paper must have been accepted for the conference. Applications should be submitted on the bursary application form together with the paper proposals. Bursaries, normally €250, may be used to cover all or part of the cost of travel and accommodation.


Online registration is now open

Accommodation Arrangements

More information will be communicated later.


For questions and expression of interest, please contact:

The conference website will soon be available at www.esrea-renadet.net

Organising institutions

The European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) promotes and disseminates theoretical and empirical research on adult education and learning in Europe as well as debates on education and training practices within the field of adult educa-tion and learning. Network meetings such as this conference are places for exchange of research and discussion.

The conference is organised by The Open University of Cyprus, the second (in order of establishment) State university of Cyprus and the country’s only Higher Education Institution dedicated solely to distance education. The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate (at the Master and doctoral levels) programmes, as well as vocational/training programmes of short duration. The awarded degrees are equivalent to all accredited universities worldwide, regardless of the educational methodology used - conventional or not. The University's academic programmes are allocated with ECTS credit units, which facilitate comparability of study programmes and the integration of students at the receiving institution, whether at the OUC or any other university in Europe. The mission of the Open University of Cyprus is to provide high quality academic programmes, to promote scientific research and to effectively utilise educational technology, methodology and teaching method in open and distance learning. Further, OUC aspires to distinguish its position in the Cypriot and broader European educational communities as an innovative university delivering with teaching to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting, such as a classroom, via a state of the art technological infrastructure and educational methodology

ESREA Membership

Membership of ESREA is open to all individuals and institutions engaged or interested in research on the education of adults and adult learning. To become a member of ESREA fill out the form available at ESREA's Membership website and send back to the secretariat according to the address on the form.