This paper discusses present Swedish path-ways for prospective adult educators, e.g. folk high school teachers, and the state of policy with a proposal for new teacher education. As a background, the context of policy and provision of liberal, general and vocational adult education is described.
Presently there is one teacher-education programme dedicated to adult education, for folk high school teachers (liberal adult education). For general/vocational adult education, there is no specific programme, but teachers in these sectors should teach pupils of all ages (including adults) on their respective level. E.g. a teacher in vocational education in upper secondary school is also expected to teach in vocational adult education on upper secondary level. Here it should be noted that for post-secondary ‘advanced (higher) vocational education’ there are neither any teacher education nor formal demands on teachers’ educational competence.
An official report (green paper) on new Swedish teacher education was presented in December 2008. Among other things, the report proposes that the folk high school teacher programme will be put down, and that teachers for liberal adult education will be educated together with ‘subject teachers’ for general adult education and upper secondary school. An interesting concern here is how contents specifically related to the folk high school as a teaching context will be covered in such a new teacher education. Thus the future role of adult education and the adult educator, and particulary the folk high school and its prospective teachers, in a transformed Swedish teacher education is presently unclear. The adult educator is not in focus in teacher education and adult education policy today. However, the governmental bill (white paper) concerning the new teacher education implemented in 2011 will be presented in December 2009 and might (or might not) result in opportunity structures where the adult educator is more in focus.
2009. 1-21 p.