Transformative learning and values: conclusions from a very successful annual theme 2022

EAEA is happy to present its background paper on the annual theme 2022 on transformative learning and value. This year’s theme was a voyage into new waters, a search and exploration of possibilities, partnerships, and perspectives, and most importantly, a journey to the heart of adult learning and education.

Download our background report here.

Throughout 2022, EAEA together with its members looked into the concept of transformative learning and its increasing relevance as Europe recovers from a global pandemic and faces an energy crisis, against a background of ambitious objectives of a digital and green transition. The mounting global and regional challenges have also led us to question the role of adult learning as a sector, and the values that adult learning is promoting or should promote to foster change.

Adult learning and education can support adults in the process of transformation by providing a space for self-reflection and dialogue with others; it can also develop critical awareness and autonomy. While transformation and transformative learning can be challenging – for learning providers and learners alike – it opens up new horizons. In a very practical manner of speaking, this annual theme has also allowed EAEA to reach out to new stakeholders, broaden our networks, and enlarge our own horizons. 

Drawing on the many insights into transformative learning and values that we gathered and collected in 2022, we developed several recommendations:

Policy-making level

  • Create an enabling environment for transformative learning: Promote strong structures for ALE at the national and regional levels, and provide better financing for ALE
  • Promote civil dialogue and the inclusion of the learners’ voice in policy making
  • Promote policy coherence at all political levels
  • Promote a holistic vision of adult learning in funding instruments, especially in the Erasmus+ programme and in the Individual Learning Accounts

Practice level

  • Give learners a voice
  • Reach out to new stakeholders
  • Build networks and partnerships for transformative learning at the local and regional levels


  • Connect the dots on transformative learning
  • Promote research into the impact of transformative learning
  • Help develop methods for transformative learning

Text: EAEAPhotos: EAEA

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