Vol 11 No 1 (1981)

L'éducation des adultes comme stratégie d'implantation de l'éducation permanente en milieu universitaire: la leçon de la France

Mario Ferland
Published June 30, 1981


The idea of continuing education implies a complete restructuration of the educational system. The university, for one, will have to undergo profound changes, some of which have actually taken place through adult education: hence the propensity to use adult education as a strategy for implementing continuing education in the university. Tactical means used differ from one institution to the other, but they can be grouped into three major categories, according to the organizational structure of adult education: the integrated, the parallel and the peripheral approach. In its effort to convert the universities to continuing education, the French government has systematically adopted the peripheral approach. A recent survey made in 76% of the French universities has revealed some trends, in the treatment of adult and continuing education, from which lessons can be drawn: (a) politically as well as ideologically, adult and continuing education are different and one must always take that difference into account; (b) the development of adult education as a university Junction requires a certain amount of autonomy; (c) the university has no institutional monopoly in adult education; (d) the peripheral approach tends to promote the marginalization of adult education. All in all, it seems that adult education is not the unique, nor even the best strategy for implementing continuing education at the university level: this could probably be more efficiently achieved through the education of youngsters.


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