Sunday, 30 April, 2017

Posts in the "Adult Education" category

What we can learn from Education at a Glance

Posted on September 15, 2014

Berni AGM - Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS, at the organisations AGM in May 2014.
Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS, at the organisations AGM in May 2014.

 Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS reacts to the publication of last weeks 'Education at a Glance' by the OECD. 

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult educationLabour Market ActivationUnemployment

PIAAC gives Ireland a wake-up call

Posted on October 15, 2013

Berni AGM - Berni Brady Director of AONTAS addresses the AGM 2013.
Berni Brady Director of AONTAS addresses the AGM 2013.

Writes Berni Brady, Director of AONTAS

The disappointing results of the OECD PIAAC survey published on Tuesday October 9th 2013 have wide implications for the Irish education system as a whole and not just the adult education sector.  The CSO was contracted to assess the skills of almost 6,000 adults around the country as part of this international OECD study carried out in 24 different countries.  Literacy and numeracy skills were categorised from Level 1 to Level 5 (with Level 1 corresponding to the lower end of the skills scale), while there were three different proficiency levels in ‘problem solving in technology rich environments’.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult education

The top three queries about adult learning

Posted on August 20, 2013

OTC two

It’s that time of year again, when the evenings are getting shorter and many people start to think about signing up for a course.  There are plenty of opportunities now to help you research your options, whether it’s a Springboard Roadshow, the Which Course Exhibition, or the adult education supplements published in the national newspapers over the coming weeks.  Your local Education and Training Board should also be able to give you information about adult education in your area. 

Here in AONTAS we continue to receive queries through our Information Referral Service from adults who are thinking about returning to education.  We’ve noticed an increase in queries this year, so here are the top three queries we are getting right now. 

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information on adult educationAdult LearnersTraining and education options for people who are unemployed

The positive impact of adult learning: proving it

Posted on November 12, 2012

Penny- small - Penny Lamb
Penny Lamb

At The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) we have been calling for a renewed debate in England as to what counts as evidence of impact of adult learning. We believe it is critical that we refresh the thinking and evidence base of the impact of adult learning for current times.  This is driven by two urgent questions:

How do we best protect both public and private investment in learning and skills for adults at a time of economic crisis?

How can we preserve the fundamental ethos to learn for work and skills and for personal and social purposes at a time of increasingly squeezed budgets?

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Research on adult educationMeasuring outcomes

How many people are participating in adult education?

Posted on August 28, 2012

We're often asked how many people are involved in adult education. This is a figure which is really difficult to quantify for a number of reasons. Firstly, because of the range of initiatives which now exist, particularly with the onset of the recession. Secondly, because many adults take up learning quite informally, and there is a lack of accurate data on their participation. Finally, there's often a bit of disagreement on what constitutes 'adult education'. For example, if we included the figures on the number of people taking part in Community Employment, or the number of people on Jobsbridge, this figure would be much higher.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Adult educationStatistics 2012

Making a case for community education

Posted on November 15, 2011

Professor John Field

Professor John Field on the challenge of measuring the value of community education.

Community based adult learning is paradoxical. Everyone commends it in principle, but in practice it always has to justify its place. This has been the case for all of my working life time, so the idea that we need to argue our corner is not new. What is new is that funding agencies now demand evidence of impact, a demand that can only grow as pressure on resources intensifies. And what is also new is that we can now marshall a very clear and powerful case for the positive impact of community based learning.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Community educationConference 2011Research on adult education

Words of advice for adult learners

Posted on August 30, 2011

whatnext2011September is traditionally the time of year when lots of people think of taking up some learning. While it's often associated with children heading back to school, lots of adults are also considering taking up an evening course over the winter, or are about to enter third level as a mature student on a full or part time basis.
Last weekend AONTAS hosted an information stand at Which Course, an annual exhibition featuring various course providers. We were there to give out copies of our new Information Booklet. Called 'What Next' the booklet answers a lot of the basic questions that adults ask us - how to find a course, what the qualification means, what kinds of financial supports are available. We also provided copies of the latest course brochure from CD VEC, and promoted a freephone number which they have in place until September 9th. The freephone number 1800 20 40 80 is staffed by qualified Counsellors from the Adult Education Guidance Initiative who are there to help adults

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information on adult educationMature studentsTraining and education options for people who are unemployeddemand for adult learning

I’m unemployed – can education get me out of here?

Posted on August 03, 2011

There's been a lot of focus recently on the issue of information, and how difficult it is to find the right person in the right place to give you the right information about education and training opportunities if you're unemployed. So here are eight useful resources if you're planning on taking the education route in the not too distant future.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Information about adult educationTraining and education options for people who are unemployed

New European study gives vocational education and training some credit

Posted on June 13, 2011

445O0976 - Natasha Bailey, Researcher, Seamus Hempenstall, Further Education Section of DES and Martha Bolger, CEFA at the launch of 'More than Just a Course' during the Adult Learners' Festival 2011.
Natasha Bailey, Researcher, Seamus Hempenstall, Further Education Section of DES and Martha Bolger, CEFA at the launch of 'More than Just a Course' during the Adult Learners' Festival 2011.

Some interesting European research came out last week about the benefits of vocational education and training.


The economic return on investment in education is the case continually put forward by different sections within education - whether it is the link between third level education and economic competitiveness, or the long term savings to public services such as health and social welfare. The American academic James Heckman has argued that investment in early childhood education reaps huge economic rewards based on his studies in the States.

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Permanent link | Comments | Categories: Vocational Education and TrainingCommunity educationResearch on Adult Education