Activist andragogy in the risk society



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description From the second half of the 1980s, Ulrich Beck began stating that the world was entering the so-called risk society phase, meaning a society in which threats and risks are not locally connected to a particular occupation or area, but rather apply globally to everyone regardless of race, class or wealth. Beck points out that it is the fundamental task of educational institutions to form the skills necessary to deal with this fear and insecurity. Furthermore, in this era they should also seek to ensure the current generation no longer contributes to the creation of risk, but rather to the prevention of further risks. As such, in the risk society andragogy can no longer be a discipline which merely describes how people are educated and learn, but does not reflect the possibility of “calling for action”. We encounter so-called activist andragogy (here we perceive activism in a broad sense as an activity leading through collective action to implementation of a particular project) as early as in the age of Enlightenment, and the tendency to intervene in social reality through adult education has been and continues to be an integral part of modernity, and we see this to a greater extent beginning in the 1960s, in particular through Brazilian educator and philosopher, Paulo Freire, and his idea of conscientization (and thus emancipation) the masses through the specific project of literacy. The question is whether activism is reflected and this reflection is transmitted back into andragogical reasoning. Another reason for investigating activism within education is the fact that andragogical practice is frequently involved in the services of social movements where humanist bases which have been an integral part of andragogy since it was founded are successfully utilised. And the final reason for doing in regard to adult education is the often mentioned and discussed engagement of theoreticians, and through them the engagement of theory.

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