Module Overview

Adult & Community Education

Adult and community education are closely allied to community work and community development. Each aims to create a more just and equal society. Adult and community education is an important pedagogical approach which aims to develop critical consciousness among learners, encouraging dialogue and action about issues affecting the lives of individuals and communities affected by poverty and disadvantage. Adult and community education is founded on an analysis which locates the causes of poverty, inequality and injustice in the structures of society, politics and economics. The aim of the module is to engage students with the theory and practice of adult and community education for the purpose of developing critical thinking as well as introducing the learner to skills and competencies practice in the field of community development and youth work.

Module Code

SACD H4039

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Theoretical Influences of Adult Education

• The Humanist / Liberal Tradition • The Critical Theory Tradition (The Frankfurt School) • The Feminist Tradition • The Liberatory Tradition (Freire; Training for Transformation) • Case Study: Historical development of adult and community education in Britain (role of workers’ education / unions • Case Study: The role of adult education in civil rights struggle in America.

Adult Critical Education in Practice

• Liberatory (Critical) Pedagogy (Freire, Giroux) – The South American Influence • Feminist Ways of Knowing (Belenky, Davis, hooks) •Training for Transforation (Hope & Timmel) – The African Influence • Popular (Liberatory) Education in Scotland – Kirkwood & Kirkwood oApplication of Freire’s ideas in Scotland • Partners Training for Transformation (Ireland) – Partners o A Handbook for Community Educators / Community Workers • Collaboration between community development and community education in Ireland (a shared approach) • Outreach community education with young people • Non-formal and Informal community education in community and youth work settings.

Adult & Community Education Policy and Practice in Ireland

• Learning for Life - The White Paper on Adult Education • Historical Development of Outreach Community Education in the VEC* Sector • The VEC Adult & Community Education Service • AONTAS (The National Adult Learning Organisation) and the promotion of grassroots community adult education • Recognition of Adult Educators and Community Educators in the Teaching Profession in Ireland (The Teaching Council). • Current Developments in the Further Education Adult and Community Education Landscape. Role of SOLAS, Education and Training Boards (ETBs), and AONTAS The National Adult Learning Organisation.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)30
Formal Examination70