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Department of Adult Education and Personnel Management

Main Research Interests

The Department’s current research is conducted in a broad academic context, thus accentuating the multidisciplinary character of the field of adult education and personnel management. Alongside its traditional research profile (theoretical, comparative, methodological, strategic, and praxeological aspects of adult education), the Department has been pursuing a growing number of research activities which integrate the perspectives of related disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, social work, pedagogy and gerontagogy) or focus on the ways adult education and personnel management change in the processes of Europeanisation and globalisation. It draws on a number of traditions and approaches in the social sciences. At the same time, it has been developing its own specific perspective on all forms of adult education in diverse contexts such as the public sector, work, leisure, personal life etc. The Department’s research interests include the possibilities of education for older adults, the future of citizenship or interest-based education, the factors of human resource management and development, trends in personnel practice, trends in intergovernmental organisations’ education policies, etc.

Representative Projects

In 2012–2013, the Department led the project entitled Analysis and Comparison of Forms and Methods for the Education of Older Adults in the V4 Countries. Funded by the Visegrad Fund, the project sought to compare V4 countries’ national research studies in four thematic areas: the broader political, legal, economic, social and cultural contexts of education for older adults and the elderly; the relationship between seniors and working life (labour market, discrimination and equal treatment, age management, HR development and education for older workers); the system of education for the elderly (institutionalisation, providers, and educational content); and traditional methods, current trends and the future of education for the elderly. In 2012, based on the existing platform of teaching collaboration between the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, the Department implemented a joint project with the Centre of Global Studies entitled Knowledge and Learning in a Globalised World: Actors and Changes. The project focused, above all, on the political, cultural and gender aspects of such contemporary social transformations that are accompanied by changes in the ways of knowing and learning. The Department’s members work as investigators in other projects as well.

Major Publication Projects

The Department of Adult Education and Personnel Management’s collaboration with the Czech Academy of Sciences resulted in a collective monograph entitled Knowledge and Learning in a Globalised World: Actors and Changes (in Czech, 2012). Based on the Visegrad Fund project, the Department published a monograph entitled Analysis and Comparison of Forms and Methods for the Education of Older Adults in the V4 Countries (2013) and conference proceedings entitled Education and Development of the Elderly (in Czech, English and Slovak, 2013). The Department helped to establish a book series entitled Czech-Polish-Slovak Studies in Andragogy and Social Gerontology. Within that series, the Department’s members co-edited and co-authored collective monographs on Ageing and Old Age in a Dynamically Changing World and New Trends in Education for the Elderly (both in Polish, Czech and Slovak, 2013). They contributed a chapter to an international publication on Global Perspectives on Adult Education and Learning Policy (2015). In their individual research papers, they have been elaborating on particular aspects of the field, including education policy, education for the elderly, the foundations and trends of personnel management, employment discrimination based on age, and volunteering.

National and International Cooperation

The Department cooperates with other Czech and Slovak academic departments in the field (e.g. Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University in Olomouc), research organisations (e.g., Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences), professional associations (Association of Adult Education Institutions in the Czech Republic – AIVD), the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and other organisations in the civic and business sectors. It participates in international research projects with partners in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Denmark and elsewhere. It has established Erasmus+ contracts with academic departments in Linköping, Verona, Rovaniemi, Aarhus, Münster, Lille, Kraków, etc. Since 2016, students of the Department take part in the Transnational Winter School on Comparative Studies in Adult Education and Lifelong Learning organised by the University of Würzburg.

Major Conferences and Events

In 2012, the Department co-organised an international scholarly symposium on Lifelong Learning and Social Policy: Links and Overlaps which focused on analysis and critique of the concept of lifelong learning as a goal and an instrument of social policy. The outcomes will be published in a collective monograph under the same name. In 2012–2013, the Department organised two workshops and a scholarly conference with international participation under the Visegrad Fund project Analysis and Comparison of Forms and Methods for the Education of Older Adults in the V4 Countries. In 2013, the Department worked together with the Department of Educational Sciences, the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University in Brno, and the Association of Adult Education Institutions in the Czech Republic to organise a scholarly seminar on adult education as an occupation. The Department’s members have been co-organising a series of international conferences entitled Third Age Education: Society’s Opportunity. Individual members regularly attend expert and academic seminars and conferences at the national and international levels.