As a national organisation AONTAS is committed to representing the issues of our members on key fora at National, European and International level including the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), the European Basic Skills Network (EBSN) and the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE).
AONTAS is also involved in a number of European projects which aim to support our members with their work and promote access to, and participation in adult learning.
AONTAS is the national coordinating body for the European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL), which is aimed at increasing participation in adult learning across the EU, enhancing policies and supports for adult learners, and gathering and disseminating best practices.
Read more about our European work here
AONTAS is currently involved in two ERASMUS + Mobility Projects. The first project ‘Making an Impact at European level’ aims to support the professional development of those who work in the area of adult education, and enhance the work of the Community Education Network (CEN) supporting its development through learning exchanges and involvement in European work.
The second project 'Adult Education Leaders, Learning in Europe' (2017-2019) will give AONTAS STAR Award winners the opportunity to avail of Continuous Professional Development opportunites.
You can read more about AONTAS organised ERASMUS + Mobilities here
AONTAS took part in the FinALE project from December 2015 - March 2018. The project was created to provide a comprehensive analysis of financing adult learning in Europe. The FinALE project brought partner organisations from six European countries together.
As part of the FinALE project, research was carried out by Camilla Fitzsimons and Conor McGrath of Maynooth University. This research examined the financing of adult and community education organisations within the Community Education Network and across Europe. The research advocates for a needs-based approach to funding adult and community education. A copy of the research can be found here.
An Advocacy Toolkit was also produced under the FinALE project. The toolkit aims to enable adult education practitioners and policy-makers to identify key issues when it comes to the financing of adult education, and to take action to improve the situation. A copy of the toolkit can be found here.
Read more about the project here.
AONTAS is a member of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). EAEA is a European NGO with 142 member organisations in 44 countries and represents more than 60 million learners Europe-wide. They promote adult learning and access to and participation in non-formal adult education for all, particularly for groups currently under-represented.
AONTAS President Liz Waters currently sits on the EAEA Board, following her election in June for a two-year term, 2017–2019. Niamh O'Reilly, AONTAS CEO is a member of their Arbitration Committee.
AONTAS is a project partner in the REVEAL Project -- Reconstructing an Environment for continuing professional development and Validation for Educators in Adult Learning. The partnership consists of 9 partners from DE, GR, IT, BE, SK, LT, IE and NL working in adult education and brings substantial expertise to support the implementation as a cross-sectorial approach.
About the Project
The Adult Education sector in the EU Member states is rather heterogeneous – in the southern and eastern countries there are independent organisations or individuals that often lack support while in many other European member states, adult education staff is very diverse in regard to their professional and educational background. In parallel, there is no approach for a certification procedure for adult educators competences. In general there is a need for the professionalization of adult educators.
KA1 courses (Erasmus+ mobilities) ought to be a source of professionalization on the European level but there is no central platform where professionals can find high quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and course providers can advertise and organise their courses and learning offers according to professional and European standards.
European validation systems and instruments have not really been implemented in KA1 courses yet. Additionally, there is a lack of high quality learning and teaching materials for the professionalization of adult educators that can be used without legal copyright issues (OER). By now there is no systemic approach that interconnects KA1 courses to the EQF system – which hampers a systemic approach to a true European validation of professionals in adult education in these EU-funded courses.
REVEAL will combine existing approaches of frameworks for professional competences for adult educators and compile a system that offers the opportunity to allocate KA1 courses on different competence levels. This way a modular European CPD system emerges which promotes transparency, comparability and which directly converts the EQF in the professionalization of AE.
The core output of the project is the REVEAL Implementation strategy for the Professionalization of Educational personnel in Adult Education.
It is based on a fully-fledged European qualification for educational professionals regarding Competence Oriented Learning and Validation (COL&V), which is designed, developed and piloted with a group of 20 professionals in blended learning methodology (O5) including a rich open learning environment, the REVEAL platform (O4), that will have a specific section that acts as showroom for KA1 courses.The platform is centrally managed and maintained on an open source e-Portfolio system consisting of a combined learning and validation environment (O3+O4) that shall be developed on the basis of a sound technical ECVET specification (O2).
REVEAL will create for the first time a system that allows the European educational community (sending organisations, course providers and the
In fact, the REVEAL platform is a place where professionals find high quality Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses and course providers can advertise and organise their courses and learning offers according to professional and European standards. Moreover, REVAL will establish a powerful network and platform aiming at setting up a large scale European OER network and material repository from which community members may take or add OER-contents.