The Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE): strengths, weaknesses and future directions

Boeren, E. and Rubenson, K. (2022) The Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE): strengths, weaknesses and future directions. International Review of Education, 68(2), pp. 291-308. (doi: 10.1007/s11159-022-09945-x)

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One of the core outcomes of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI) held in 2009 was the Belém Framework for Action (BFA). Its signatories committed to monitoring the most recent development stages of adult learning and education (ALE) worldwide on a regular basis, and to present and assess results in a global report. Coordinated by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, surveys have been conducted and documented in four GRALE reports over the past decade. A fifth report is currently being prepared for CONFINTEA VII, to be held in June 2022. This article critically analyses the project of compiling a Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) at roughly three-year intervals. Drawing on an evaluative framework for research quality developed by Pär Mårtensson and colleagues, the authors of this article investigate to what extent the GRALE approach to monitoring and reporting on ALE so far has been (1) credible (e.g. based on rigorous research methodologies and methods); (2) contributory (e.g. relevant and applicable to practice, generalisable); (3) communicable (e.g. accessible, understandable and readable in terms of report structure); and (4) conforming (e.g. with ethical standards). The purpose of this evaluation is for it to serve as a contribution to enhancing the quality of monitoring approaches in the field of ALE. This is vital for working towards future directions of ALE which are shaped by a high-quality evidence base. Ultimately, this will not only make ALE more accessible, fair, diverse and effective, but will also add to insights on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in a similar way, especially since ALE indirectly but fundamentally affects the success of all 17 goals.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boeren, Professor Ellen
Authors: Boeren, E., and Rubenson, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Journal Name:International Review of Education
ISSN (Online):1573-0638
Published Online:18 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Review of Education 68(2): 291-308
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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