"This one is stronger": Spotlights on the lifelong learning professional-in-action

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“This one is stronger.” Spotlights on the lifelong learning professional-in-action
Around the world, lifelong learning is being promoted as a strategy for coping with the changing realities of life and work. The fourth Sustainable Development Goal, agreed in September 2015, reflects this: “ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Despite its importance, doubts remain about the implementation of this goal in practice (Van der Kamp, 2000; Regmi, 2015). This article looks at the practice of lifelong learning from the point of view of the professionals involved, their actions and the way these actions are challenged, supported and further developed. Following Schön’s “reflection-in-action” (1983), the term “professional-in-action” is used to stress the role of the professional in making the difference on the ground. The leading question is: how can lifelong learning professionals be supported in their contribution to surrounding society and its citizens? The professionals-in-action featured in this article include professionals based in the Netherlands as well as in other, less privileged contexts. Meaningful experiences are used to build a story about challenges, the right to exist, commitment, recognition and room to manoeuvre. The experiences reveal the importance of interacting with the learner and the professional space that is necessary to achieve this. Professionalization in professional learning communities and practice-oriented research must accompany this professional space.
Translated title of the contribution“Deze is sterker”: Spotlights op de leven lang leren professional-in-actie
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-42
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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