Creating and Maintaining Safe Spaces in Adult Learning

Exploring the Complexities of Safe Spaces in Adult Learning: Blended Training for Educators & Organisers

The concept of safe space is a complex one and can relate to different elements of educational practice, whether it is connected to the physical aspect of the space, the online environment, or the role of the trainers, organisers and/or learners in creating a safe learning setting. During the training, offered in a blended format, we will explore the power dynamics and decolonial approaches in adult learning and education, public pedagogy and the relationship between safety and space. We will also look at practical ways of co-creating a safe space together with learners.

The training targets adult educators and organisers of adult learning courses, as well as learners themselves.

We kindly ask you to note that the programme below might be subject to minor changes.

Please register latest by the 8th of March. EAEA will evaluate the registrations on a rolling basis so we encourage you to sign up early.

Practical information

Dates: 22nd-25th of April 2024; online introductory session on the 9th of April

Venue: Brussels, Belgium

Participation Fees

EAEA member organisations, adult learners and university students 350€

NGOs 400€

for profit organisations and public institutions 500€

Programme online

9th of April

Introductory session (online)

11 – 11.15h Short introduction game

11.15 – 12h Feelings of safety and freedom in the public space. Immersive online experience

12 – 12.30h How does feeling safe in the public space relate to feeling safe in the learning setting? Group discussion

12.30 – 13h Our map of safety. Visualising what safety means to our group.

Programme in Brussels

22nd of April

Setting the scene

13.30 – 14h Welcome with coffee

14 – 15.30h Getting to know each other and EAEA, practical information about the training.

15.30 – 17h What are safe spaces for the group? Why is it important to talk about safety, privilege and struggle in adult education? Guided exchange of experiences between participants.

23rd of April

Power dynamics and decolonial approaches in ALE

09 – 09.30h Welcome with coffee

09.30 – 10h Check-in: getting started
Recap of the first day and introduction to the second day of the training
10 – 11.30h Power Dynamics in ALE. How privilege and struggle relate to the notion of safety in the learning environment. Input and discussion

11.30 – 12h Coffee break

12 – 13h Decolonial approaches in ALE. How does the concept of colonisation and decolonisation affect adult learning environments? Interactive practice

13 – 14h Lunch break

14 – 15h Decolonial walk around Brussels.
15 – 16h Positioning our privilege. Immersive activity in the public space.
16 – 17h Check-out: self-reflection practice
Day wrapping and self and group reflection activity on the practices and main take aways.

24th of April

Public Pedagogy and extending safe spaces

09 – 09.30h Welcome with coffee

09.30 – 10h Check-in: getting started
Quick recap of the main take aways from the previous day, introduction to the third day of the training
10 – 11.30h Public space and Safe Space. Where and how does the creation of public spaces connect with adult education?

11.30 – 12h Coffee break

12 – 13h Public Pedagogy. Interactive session

13 – 14h Lunch break

14 – 16h Public pedagogy in practice. Study visit.
16 – 17h Check-out: self-reflection practice
Day wrapping and self and group reflection activity on the practices and main take aways.
19 – 21h Social dinner

25th of April

Co-creating a safe space in practice

09 – 09.30h Welcome with coffee

09.30 – 09.45 Check-in: getting started
Quick recap of the previous day and introduction to the fourth day of the training
09.45 – 10.15h Creating an informed safe space in the ALE setting. The Why, the what, the who and the How of SAFE spaces. Input and discussion based on the results of the SAFE project.
10.15 – 11.30h Using the SAFE Board Game- World Café edition.
Character Creation and discussion on safe spaces on a policy, organisational and classroom level using prompts of the SAFE Board Game.

11.30 – 12h Coffee break
12 – 13h Reflections and key takeaways from the world cafe

13 – 14h Lunch break

14 – 15h Tying all the loose ends
Interactive closing session on creating and maintaining safe spaces in adult learning
15 – 16h Evaluation and reflection on the training
Immersive activity to exchange on the training experience

Additional Information

Meet your trainers

Angeliki Giannakopoulou is a project coordinator at EAEA. She holds an Integrated Master’s degree in Computer Engineering and Informatics and has followed certified training on Adult Education and Counseling while currently studying for her Masters degree on Gender Studies. Before her work in the EAEA she was a project manager and adult educator in Greece and her key areas of interest on ALE are digitalisation and media, safe public spaces (both physical and digital) gender, and intersectionality.

Maja Maksimović, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. Currently, she focuses her research on the intersection of education, activism, and the arts, aiming to incorporate critical, embodied, spatial, and imaginative approaches into her repertoire of action. For five years, she served as an executive board member of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). Additionally, she is a member of the steering committee of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA) and co-convener of the ESREA Active Democratic Citizenship and Adult Learning network. She also holds the position of deputy editor for the journal Andragogical Studies. In addition to her academic career, Maja is a psychodrama counselor, utilizing drama and movement therapy in her work with groups. Since 2008, she has been working as a trainer, primarily with international organizations, focusing on topics related to train-the-trainer programs. Outside of her professional life, she enjoys dancing tango.

Frequently asked questions

Eligibility criteria for participation:

We welcome adult education staff and adult learners who have an interest in maintaining and developing safe spaces for learning.

There is a limitation on the total number of participants who can take part in the face-to-face training: minimum eight and maximum twenty. EAEA reserves the right to cancel the training if the minimum number of participants is not reached. In case the interest exceeds our capacity, priority will be given to participants representing EAEA member organisations.

We encourage you to apply early as we will be evaluating the registrations on a rolling basis.

I have just registered for the training – is my participation confirmed?

Your participation in the training will be confirmed as soon as possible by email by one of the EAEA staff members.

Will EAEA make recommendations for accommodation and logistics?

Each participant will receive a practical information package which will include recommendations for affordable hotels, tips on getting around Brussels, and more.

Are there any informal get-togethers planned for participants?

EAEA will organise dinner for all participants, and possibly other activities – we will keep you posted!

What does the training fee cover?

The fee of 500 EUR, 400 EUR or 350 EUR (the amounts depend on the type of organisation you represent) covers your participation in the training in Brussels, course materials and coffee breaks.

When do I pay the fee?

EAEA will invoice you for the participation in your training after your registration. Please note that all participants are asked to pay the fee before the training takes place; the deadline for payment will be indicated on the invoice.

More questions?

For more information please contact EAEA’s Head of Capacity-Building at aleksandra.kozyra [at]