The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) has started a cooperation with an organisation in the USA, the American Association for the Adult Continuing Education (AAACE). The aim of the partnership is to strengthen the status of adult education in both continents.
“We are happy to start a cooperation with our American colleagues. We can learn a lot from each other and of course also share common issues such as our concerns about TTIP,” says Gina Ebner, the EAEA Secretary General.
AAACE President, Margaret Eggleston, has led the organization since 2015.
“[One of] my interests is in developing partnerships […] with organisations having related missions. Doing so will broaden our reach, provide reciprocal opportunities, and demonstrate unity for adult learners,” she says. There are many opportunities for collaboration among the two organizations.
“Initially, our formal understanding includes sharing conference information, and communicating professional development activities through various methods. Additionally, we hope to connect our diverse practitioners and scholars from across the globe through networking and communication tools,” explains Leslie Cordie, Director of the Commission for Affiliated Organisations at AAACE.
AAACE is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the belief that lifelong learning contributes to human fulfillment and positive social change.
“We envision a more humane world made possible by the diverse practice of our members in helping adults acquire the knowledge, skills and values needed to lead productive and satisfying lives,” tells Sarah Berke, Managing Director of the AAACE.
In order to work towards this vision, AAACE provides opportunities for adult growth and development; unifies adult educators; fosters the development and dissemination of theory, research, information, and best practices; promotes identity and standards for the profession; and advocates relevant public policy and social change initiatives.
The annual AAACE conference attracts adult educators from around the world, and features learning sessions, keynote speakers, roundtable discussions, and many other activities. In addition, AAACE publishes the leading adult education journals in the field: Adult Education Quarterly (AEQ), Adult Learning (AL), and the Journal of Transformative Education (JTED). In addition, the organization publishes the Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education every 10 years.
The AAACE headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia.
Like EAEA, AAACE is a membership organisation. The difference lies in the fact that individuals can join AAACE, while EAEA membership is only open for organisations.
“We have approximately 800 members, of which over 30 % are students. Our members serve a broad range of demographics and have a broad range of interests, as evidenced by the diversity of our commissions and special interest groups,” says Ms. Berke.
When asked to describe her organisation, Ms. Berke says:
“We are a truly passionate organisation, with members who are truly contributing in positive and meaningful ways to adult education and to the broader society. We’re excited about the work that we do, and thrilled to be building these partnerships with like-minded organisations.”
Interview: Aura Vuorenrinne