This study takes as its point of departure a pedagogical perspective on teaching practices in three different institutional contexts for adult learning. The pedagogical perspective applied could also be labeled as didactic, here drawing on the German term didaktich and the influence of German educational traditions and language on the educational traditions in the
Nordic countries. A didactic perspective on adult learning has pragmatically been described as an action-oriented theorizing about education, between what is universal and what is context specific. It focuses on the relationships between what is enacted in the class-room, (the -how--question of teaching), the choice of content subjected to teaching (the -what--question of
teaching), and beliefs about the purpose of education (the -why-- question of teaching). Research projects with a didactical perspective in this sense, focusing on the pedagogical process or spanning across different institutional arenas of adult education are, however, still sparse. The present multiple case study is an attempt at using the didactical perspective analytically in empirical field studies of teaching practices in different institutional contexts,
i.e. a folk high school, a university programme and a municipality adult education institution (Komvux) in Sweden. Participant observations in class-rooms have been combined with interviews with the teachers. The metaphors The Forum, The Clinic, and The Qualification franchise have been used as a tool to interpret, explore and illustrate three typical patterns in
teaching practices that cut across the different institutional contexts. The interpretation is related to previously identified and typical lines of reasoning in international literature on adult learning.