MU Adult & Community Education Contributions to the Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education

Friday, November 24, 2017 - 17:45

2017 call for contributions for the Adult Learner welcomed articles from Maynooth University's Department of Adult and Community Education with a focus on quality in adult learning.

In Rhetoric and reality: The Irish Experience of Quality Assurance, Dr Camilla Fitzsimons traces the growth and development of quality management in Ireland, venturing to define what quality might mean. She examines the tensions which exist around the quality debate noting the inconsistent moderation and incongruence between the wider values of quality and a government-led employability discourse. The article reports on a study of educators who participated in an on-line, anonymous survey noting that adult educators do care about quality whatever that means to them. The survey uncovers philosophical tensions in how quality assurance should be approached. Finally, she returns to the question of whether our understanding and measurement of quality is really linked to a neoliberal, market-oriented, utilitarian agenda?

Towards a Quality Framework for Adult Learners in Recovery: Ensuring quality with equity, Patricia Doyle describes a participative approach to curriculum development for adults in addiction recovery across the European Union and efforts to conceive of a quality-learning programme with equity for adult learners in recovery. This links the question of quality to the concept of inequality and raises the question of whether indeed discussions on quality can be had in isolation from discussions on quality can be had in isolation from discussion on inequality and the need for our practices to take this into account.

Associate staff member at the Department of Adult and Community Education, Sarah Coss' article is a feminist inquiry into the learning experiences of mothers in an informal parent support group and asks: What is quality education and how do we ensure we are identifying it appropriately?

Other articles raise issues which are inevitably linked to the broad framework of quality management. Jerry O’Neill and Susan Cullinane remind us of the need for critical professional development for adult and community educators, also a key issue in promoting quality in across the field of lifelong learning.

For full access to the Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education Adult Learner 2017 edition, see: