Adult education research: exploring an increasingly fragmented map
Keywords:Adult education research, adult education journals, bibliometric analysis
AbstractAgainst the background of internal developments of adult education as a field of study, and new external conditions for research, this article examines how the configuration of adult education research has been evolving, particularly over the last decade. Our analysis draws on a two-pronged approach: a reading of four seminal articles written by adult education scholars who have conducted bibliometric analyses of selected adult education journals; as well as our own review of 75 articles, covering a one-year period (2012–2013), in five adult education journals that were chosen to provide a greater variety of the field of adult education in terms of their thematic orientation and geographical scope than has been the case in previous reviews. Our findings suggest that the field is facing two main challenges. First, the fragmentation of the map of the territory that was noticed at the end of the 1990s, has continued and seems to have intensified. Second, not only practitioners, but also the policy community voice their disappointment with adult education research, and we note a disconnect between academic adult education research and policy-related research. We provide a couple of speculations as to the future map of adult education as a field of study and point to the danger of shifting the research agenda away from classical adult education concerns about democracy and social rights.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2015 The author(s)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
As RELA is an open access journal, this means that anyone who can access the Internet can freely download and read the journal. There are no commercial interests for Linköping University Electronic Press or the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) in publishing the journal. There are no charges for publishing authors.
The core idea of open access is that copyright remains with the author(s). However, we publish with the agreement of the author that if she or he decides later to publish the article elsewhere, that the publisher will be notified, prior to any acceptance, that the article has already been published by RELA.
When publishing with RELA, it is with the agreement of the author that if they make their article available elsewhere on the internet (for example, on their own website or an institutional website), that they will do so by making a link to the article as published in RELA using the Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number of the article and acknowledge in the text of the site that the article has been previously published in RELA.