Sharing the stories about how and why someone decided to do a course or a class, and the impact it has had on their lives, can be very inspirational and encouraging to others. People who have returned to learning can become “leaders” in their local communities, and show others that going back to education can be lifechanging.
Since the rapid switch to online work and education, there has been an explosion of online learning opportunities. Every week, across all levels of the education sector, there are different online workshops and webinars. Towards this end of 2022, with this in mind, we asked our members in the community and adult education sector what type of webinars and which topics really motivate them to sign up and log on.
Amy Gibney, our Community Education Officer, is visiting Community Education Network (CEN) members across the country to share why community education is so important and how AONTAS can best support our members to continue their great work.
We’re gathering evidence of the value and impact of adult and community education in Northern Ireland. A common thread bringing together adult and community education groups across Northern Ireland and the Republic is the desire to create more opportunities and choices for everyone, regardless of their experience or economic background.
Earlier this autumn, I travelled to Caserta in southern Italy for a meeting of the Erasmus+ BEEP Project. The BEEP (Basic Education and Empowerment for Political Participation) project looks at political participation for people who are excluded from democratic processes. This could be because of their legal status, their qualifications and skills, or due to a feeling of alienation in politics.
By Kalianne Farren, AONTAS Research OfficerHow can we have a better, fairer adult education system? At AONTAS, we’re helping adults who have gone back to education speak up about their experiences. Adult learners are the best experts in what works and what should be improved in adult education. Listening to them and working with them can make learning better for everyone.
When people share their stories about returning to learning, people empathise, they listen, and sometimes they get inspired. How can we empower people to share their experiences?
AONTAS research has found a lack of information on mental health supports for Further Education and Training (FET) learners and a disparity in the provision of psychological counselling across programmes. Here, AONTAS Research Officer Dr Laura Lovejoy considers the implications of our most recent findings for learner mental health.