Between Global and Local – Adult Learning and Communities

Aims and themes of the network

Can adult education and learning be understood without reference to community and people’s daily lives? Our response is no, it cannot. We think that adult education can be understood if we look at the social life of people in communities. This network was established by António Fragoso (Faro), Ewa Kurantowicz (Wrocław) and Emilio Lucio-Villegas (Sevilla) in Faro, Portugal, in October 2006 to bring together European researchers committed to studying community development and adult learning. In 2011 António Fragoso stepped down and his place as co-convenor was taken by Rob Evans (Magdeburg).
In our perspective, different scales of community development need to be analysed together, clearly identifying the global and regional/ local dimensions of adult learning processes and social change, and focusing closely on processes of emancipation and on social movements they are part of. The hope was therefore to create a network capable of encouraging research on development in the context of globalization, employing territorial/ micro-scale approaches, urban and rural studies, studies of community regeneration, and locating learning places and spaces. Above all, we wish these themes to show the central role of adult learning in processes of community development.
Thus, this network considers it necessary to rethink the role of adult education and learning in community processes. The network welcomes all researchers who share our view that adult learning can in fact be understood as a real process to help people to read the world and change it, a skill that is so important in the life of individuals and communities.

History of the network

The Network usually holds meetings every year: 2006 (Faro), 2008 (Wroclaw), 2009 (Magdeburg), 2010 (Seville), 2011 (Istanbul), 2013 (Ghent), 2014 (Lisbon), 2015 (Ljubljana), 2017 Wroclaw.



ESREA series
Fragoso, A., Kurantowicz, E. & Lucio-Villegas, E. (Eds.) (2011). Between Global and Local. Adult Learning and Development. Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.

Evans, R., Kurantowicz, E., & Lucio-Villegas, E. (Eds.) (2016). Researching and Transforming Adult Learning and Communities. The Local/Global Context. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Edited books produced by the network
Evans, R. (Ed.) (2009/10). Local development, community and adult learning – Learning landscapes between the mainstream and the margins, Vols 1 & 2. Duisburg: Nisaba Verlag.

Conference proceedings
Kurantowicz, E. (2008). Local in Global – Adult Learning and Community Development. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo naukowe.

Lucio-Villegas, L. (2010). Transforming/researching communities. El Masnou:

Ünlühisarcıklı, Ö., Güvercin; G., Seçkin, & Sabırlı, I. (Eds.) (2011/13). Positioning and Conceptionalizing Adult Education and Learning within Local Development, Vols 1 & 2. Istanbul: Bogazici University Press.

Guimarães, P., Cavaco, C., Marrocos, L., Paulos, C., Bruno, A., Rodrigues, S., & Marques, M. (Eds.) (2014). Local change, social actions and adult learning: challenges and responses. Lisbon: University of Lisbon.


The network also has a short film made at the 2009 Conference in Magdeburg by Sol Haring & Rob Evans.

Download here The Making Of…
Some remarks on the film

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