Research in Adult and Popular Education

Female teatcher talking in front of a group adult students.

The research group in adult and popular education is the most prominent one in Sweden as well as one of the larger ones in the world. The group act as national as well as international institutional hub in the research field. 

Here, the only professorial chair in adult education research in Sweden is located, as well as the Swedish network for research on popular education (Mimer) which was creatred based on a decision by the Swedish government in 1990. Since 2007, the secretariat of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults is located in the group, as is the editorial office of the European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults.

In a Swedish context, adult education research is part of the discipline of pedagogy. What characterises adult education research is an interest for pedagogical processes in relation to settings where adults are engaged in learning, may it be formal settings such as adult education or folk high schools, or more informal settings such as working life, everyday life or study circles. Similar to the discipline of pedagogy, adult education research draw on research perspectives and methods developed within the field as well as within other disciplines such as sociology, psychology, gender studies etc. Multidisciplinary perspectives are very relevant in relation to popular education research as Mimer has the task to encourage and support popular education research all over Sweden, no matter within what discipline such research is carried out.

Pluralism in terms of settings being studied (adult education, vocational education, popular education, folk high schools, study associations etc.), as well as in terms of research perspectives and methods is characterising the research group. The group conduct research of high relevance for the development of the research field, our educational programs, as well as for those working in the settings being studied. As a national institutional hub in adult education research, our competences are asked for by government agencies as well as adult education schools, folk high schools and study associations across the country.

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