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Adult education for resilience? COVID-19-induced pondering for practice

27 October 2021 | MOJA Africa team ALE under Covid-19

Covid 19 Webinar Adult Education for resilience

Click here to watch the webinar

MOJA invited adult educators to a conversation with Astrid von Kotze, adult educator and activist. Astrid is and education activist working with organisations and people in poor working class communities in/around Cape Town, South Africa. Until 2009, she was Professor of Adult Education and Community Development at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, subsequently professor emerita at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Astrid has been deeply involved in cultural activism, and published widely on popular education, health and sustainable livelihood security.

The conversation with Astrid, focussed on the topic of Adult Education for Resilience? COVID-19-induced pondering for practice.

Resilience has become a buzzword ‘touted as a protective talisman against the effects of trauma, which individuals, communities and whole economies are told to cultivate. ‘ (Saner 2020) It has taken on the quality of moral virtue with ‘resourcefulness’ reframed as praise for one’s ability to continually adapt (Ames & Greer 2021). In this way, resilience is akin to the aspiration for education for ‘sustainable development’, a continuation of the same-old, with slight adjustments.

The questions asked: what does ‘resilience’ mean? Should adult education go with the same-old? What are community/adult educators’ assumptions, and how do they relate to the realities of learner / participants on the ground? What ideas should be dropped, and what imaginings be taken on now, for the future? What are new ways of shaping adults educating and learning, in a (post-) Covid-era?

This webinar critically examined notions of ‘resilience’, spotlighted some of our assumptions about ALE, and proposed a life-affirming adult education for the future.