Based on long-term collaboration inside EquJust-group with researchers in adult education in Tallinn University, for example participating in the international MA Adult Education for Social Change, a pilot for joint course Critical studies in adult education had been planned between TAU and TLU, with inputs from colleagues in universities of Malta and Aristoteles in Thessaloniki. Although the course in the end was not included in EDU´s teaching schedule, it was implemented as part of MA programme of TLU, with students from Estonia, Belgium, Slovenia and Finland.
The intention was that the course includes field visits and collaboration with adult education actors (policymakers, professional bodies, institutions) in Estonia and in Finland. However, due to the spread of covid19-epidemy, this was only to some extent realized in Estonia. After two intensive contact days the course had to continue digitally, in Google Drive, through emails and Zoom-meetings, though the original idea was that the digital work would be just part of the whole course.
The students were developing individual reflections about what critical studies and thinking in adult education means for them, continuing in groups and creating a photo-voice product, based on course material and self-directed small (empirical) study. The teachers – Larissa from TLU and Anja from TAU – facilitated the process in Google Drive, through emails and Zoom-meetings.
In the final session, lessons from the process, the photo-voices from the groups, were discussed and the aims and objectives of the course reflected.
Afterwards, the groups and teachers still developed reflective reports from the process. Although there was a concern that the covid19-situation would destroy the whole pilot, both teachers and students were happily surprised about everybody´s commitment and engagement. The course showed us, that developing teaching and studies cross national and institutional borders is possible and enriching as part of our regular academic work.
Based on the experiences, the concept of the pilot course is already developed into next course in autumn 2020. If you became interested, contact Anja (email@example.com) or Larissa (Larissa.firstname.lastname@example.org).
– Anja Heikkinen