Ethical codes in adult education as subjects of comparative analysis


  • Josef Malach Humanitas University, Sosnowiec, Poland; University of Ostrava, Czech Republic



Adult educators´ ethics, code of conduct, code of ethics, code of practice, comparative analysis, content of a code, sanctions, structure of a code


In the process of professionalisation of adult educators, a significant role is played by qualification, educational and evaluation standards. However, they do not often deal with ethical questions which can arise from their relationship with participants of the educational process, from their membership in professional associations or from the relationship with an educational institution. This gap is filled by ethical codes, which are not legal standards but they are adult educators’ voluntary obligations. The importance of codes was a reason for the comparison of 26 ethical codes aiming to find their common features and non-standard regulations, to point out the prevailing structures and contents and disciplinary measures when the code is violated. The contribution of this study is to enrich the andragogical theory with a deeper understanding of the purpose of ethical codes, their structural elements and content. From the point of view of education policy, an analysis of codes can work as a specific monitoring of the market of educational services. It can serve for designing certification courses of adult educators as well as subjects in graduate studies in andragogy. The limitation of this study lies in the fact that the selection of codes was limited to codes written in four languages; however, one of them was English, which is a world language. As for the territorial scope, codes cover North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.


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How to Cite

Malach, J. (2019). Ethical codes in adult education as subjects of comparative analysis. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 11(2), 199–217.



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