About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3893-3901
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1931

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

A UNIVERSITY LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ADULT EDUCATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM A RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH TO A GUIDANCE MODEL FOCUSED ON PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY

A. Galimberti, M.B. Gambacorti-Passerini, C. Palmieri

University of Milano Bicocca (ITALY)
Italian educational professionals are actually trained by a University course lasting three years for educators and five years for adult educators.

Educational work does not simply consist in direct relationships with people who would benefit from it: what is needed is an important work of coordination, planning, and organization in order to make the activity of educational services possible. In Italy, these functions are played by adult educators, interpreted as professionals with a Master Degree that operate as specialists of educational processes. This professional profile has a specific role in projecting, managing, evaluating educational services: he/she can be employed as a coordinator, a director, a consultant, a supervisor in the educational field.

Italian adult educators, in this sense, must be trained in different skills and competences, because they would need to perform various roles.

The paper will present a University training experience for Italian adult educators, consisting in both e-learning and group meetings. It was based on general assumptions. The main assumption is that it is necessary to develop research skills in order to reach such professional competences.

Starting and managing a research requires, in fact, the ability to analyse contexts, to find out relevant themes, to construct and deconstruct issues and to deal with a plurality of knowledge dimensions (theoretical but also practical). To plan and activate a research project in an educational context could be a key point in learning to master the main skills requested for a pedagogical consultant, supervisor or coordinator. This implies that a student is able to identify his/her own learning interest and to clarify his/her own idea of a professional future, in a word, a student who is an actor on the scene and is willing to shift away from a passive stance.

After a one-year experimentation of this model, we made an evaluation based on feedbacks coming from the participants. Students showed us a series of unexpected disorientations they found hard to face. They highlighted difficulties in connecting the different perspectives they met during their studies, difficulties in recognizing their competences and in negotiating their role with external institutions. On the overall, the main disorientation consisted in focusing their learning interests and their future professional identity. These dimensions could not be taken for granted and needed a space for being discussed. These evaluations lead us to investigate the role of universities in organizing and managing professionalizing paths. The role of higher education is changing and calls into question the traditional distinctions between formal, non-formal and informal learning. Personal knowledge and transversal skills, as the ability to compose a changing professional identity, to connect experiences coming from different contexts (formal and not formal) to identify and construct competences become more and more relevant. This means that the idea of competence could not be considered only from an instrumental point of view but should be discussed at a plurality of levels.

Fostering these kind of reflexive processes means to take care of the “third task” addressed to the university: to develop and to promote lifelong and lifewide learning.
@InProceedings{GALIMBERTI2016AUN,
author = {Galimberti, A. and Gambacorti-Passerini, M.B. and Palmieri, C.},
title = {A UNIVERSITY LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ADULT EDUCATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM A RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH TO A GUIDANCE MODEL FOCUSED ON PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1931},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1931},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3893-3901}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Galimberti AU - M.B. Gambacorti-Passerini AU - C. Palmieri
TI - A UNIVERSITY LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ADULT EDUCATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM A RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH TO A GUIDANCE MODEL FOCUSED ON PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1931
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3893
EP - 3901
ER -
A. Galimberti, M.B. Gambacorti-Passerini, C. Palmieri (2016) A UNIVERSITY LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR ADULT EDUCATORS IN HIGHER EDUCATION: FROM A RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH TO A GUIDANCE MODEL FOCUSED ON PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 3893-3901.
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