Discourses on Empowerment in Adult Learning: A View on Renewed Learning

Author: Luisa Daniele, ANPAL-National Agency for Active Labour Market Policies, Italy
Email: luisa.daniele69@gmail.com
Published: September 1, 2017

Citation: Daniele, L. (2017). Discourses on Empowerment in Adult Learning: A View on Renewed Learning. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.2.02


The paper examines critically the dimension of empowerment in the European discourse, starting from some operational definitions used in official documents. The author analyses the shift in the European documents from 2000 to recent years, from a lifelong learning vision to an adult education approach, basically labour market – oriented, thus leaving aside the social cohesion and self-emancipatory dossiers. Against this background, a theoretical approach derived from the categories of transaction and reflexivity is suggested, setting out from the works of John Dewey. This paper investigates whether the categories of experience, problem posing and emancipation are more suitable for a long-term project on adult learning than the categories of activation, problem solving, and empowerment.


empowerment, adult education, European policy, reflexivity, Dewey