The Adult Learner Journal 2020 is launched

The Adult Learner, published by AONTAS, engages with issues across the spectrum of adult learning in Ireland and on an international level.

Niamh O'Reilly, CEO, AONTAS

Niamh O’Reilly, CEO, AONTAS

The Adult Learner is a peer-reviewed Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education, founded in the mid-1980s.

The 2020 edition of The Adult Learner Journal was launched on 23 September 2020. The online event was attended by over 80 people from countries worldwide including Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Spain, Norway, Belgium, Serbia, Portugal, the US, and Pakistan.

Fifty years on since the first English publication of Paulo Freire’s book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, this edition of The Adult Learner pays tribute to the influence of Paulo Freire’s ideas in the field of adult and community education and beyond.

Speaking at the event, Niamh Reilly, CEO of AONTAS, said:

“The journal launch has brought together adult and community education academics, tutors, policymakers, and learners from across the globe to help make education for all a reality.

“Many of the adult learning approaches that engage people are based on the thinking of Freire. In a COVID-19 context, now more than ever is a time to ensure all adults can participate in education throughout their lives.”

Rosemary Moreland, Editor, The Adult Learner.

Rosemary Moreland, Editor, The Adult Learner.

In a press interview, Dr Rosemary Moreland, Editor of The Adult Learner, highlighted the importance of Freire’s ideas in contributing to creating a more just and equitable society.

“At this historic juncture, as the norms of our everyday realities are stripped away, and social and economic uncertainties are the subject of daily conversation – now more than ever we require a wide-scale adoption of Freire’s ‘problematizing education’, where we question what kind of world we want for ourselves and for our children, and how we make it happen.

“Freire’s writings are not just ideas to be discussed – they are a call to action.”

Sir Alan Tuckett, OBE, and Peter Lavender, both Professors of Education at the University of Wolverhampton, discussed the implications of Freire’s writing for current policies on adult learning. Prof Lavender said:

“Freire taught us to base our teaching of adults on learner voice and experience. His analysis of why collective learning and dialogue with students matters and his understanding of power in relation to educational theory is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.” 

Author Finola McCarthy shared her experience of engaging with Freire’s praxis through teaching horticulture. McCarthy and O’Brien highlighted how critical dialogue and reflective action is an evolving journey of unlearning and hope for both learners and educators.

For Amanda Slevin and the Queen’s University Belfast students involved in the ‘Creating our Vision for a Greener Future’ project, Freire became a cornerstone of teaching, learning, and action for socio-ecological transformation.

Zoryana Pshyk described her experience of reading Freire when she was living in Direct Provision: “In Freire I found an ally who had a more precise understanding of my day-to-day struggles than anyone else ever had.”

The Adult Learner is a free online resource accessible to all. Find out more about the newly launched Journal at


SOURCE: Materials provided by AONTAS
Note: Content may be edited for style and length.



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