Prof. Dr. Rita Süssmuth
Honorary President of the DVV,
member of the Advisory Board
of DVV International
© Jan Voth
This is the last issue of our journal Adult Education and Development (AED). What started in 1973 as an information brief for attendees at our summer schools from Africa, Asia and Latin America developed over the years as one of the most influential journals on adult education globally. Up to 20,000 copies published in English, French and Spanish were distributed to readers in around 160 countries. The main target groups included adult educators, academia and decision-makers, with a special focus on the global South.
During its existence, the journal was able to contribute to and shape many of the discussions relating to the development of adult education and lifelong learning. Key actors of the global adult education movement like Julius Nyerere used the journal to share their ideas. In various cases, the journal was used to prepare and inform important global events such as the ICAE World Assembly in Thailand 1989 or the CONFINTEA V in Hamburg 1997.
From the beginning, another important role of the journal was to serve as a tool for the exchange of experiences among practitioners. New approaches on literacy, skills training, gender issues, education of minorities, as well as civic and popular education, were shared. On the policy level, models for funding and new legal frameworks from various countries inspired the reader. Finally, the journal served as a link between research and the implementation levels by making findings from Universities and institutes in the global North and South accessible to a wider audience.
The concept of the journal was updated several times as the decades passed. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the content was opened to the countries in transition in Eastern Europe. The design was constantly updated, and key partners were invited to contribute on an editorial board. In the past few years, the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) acted as a cooperation partner and arranged virtual seminars to discuss the issues.
AED will be missed by the international adult education community, and we regret that the funding will cease at the end of 2019. At the same time, we feel grateful that we were able to publish this journal for almost five decades. In the name of the German Adult Education Association (DVV) and its Institute for International Cooperation (DVV International), I would like to use the opportunity to express my gratitude to the colleagues who shaped the journal over the years: Prof.(H) Dr. Heribert Hinzen, Dr. Michael Samlowski, Gisela Waschek, Ruth Sarrazin and Johanni Larjanko. And I would like to thank the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for their financial support and the excellent mutual partnership during the last 46 years. We appreciate this reliable long-term commitment very much!
This issue brings an important chapter in our work to an end, just at the moment when we need it more than ever. Adult learners need information and orientation. Don’t leave them alone!
It is our task to develop new forms of communication to ensure that the necessary fora for exchange, debate and sharing will be available for the global adult education movement. We will do that in close cooperation with our partners around the world.
I close my letter with an encouraging but urgent call to all of us to look for new concepts to learn together, combined with the conviction that we won’t give up. This was not our last issue of communication and exchange.
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