“Growing together”: A Latvian retrospective of learning opportunities created in the cooperation among Nordic and Baltic adult educators
This article tells the extraordinary story of the cooperation among adult educators in five Nordic and three Baltic countries (NB8) which began in 1991 – the year when Latvia regained its independence. According to individuals who experienced the evolution of this cooperation from the beginning and were actively involved in the process of developing contemporary theories, policies and practices of adult education in Latvia, this cooperation resulted in the creation of a range of unique opportunities for learning and development. Latvian adult educators were engaged in many activities; they learned themselves, taught others, did research on adult education and developed a new system of adult education. What had started out as a “donorship” grew into a “partnership”. With hardly any published information about this cooperation to rely on, the authors of this article build their case using (1) their own memories of participation; (2) the information gained through interviews with key experts; and (3) a number of largely unpublished documents indicated in these interviews. Tracing the evolution of this cooperation, their study seeks to understand how learning opportunities were created and how they were used by adult educators in Latvia. Adopting an ecological (in terms of learning environment, relationships, agency, motivation and identity) sociocultural perspective on learning and learning opportunities, the authors analyse the quality of the learning opportunities created in the context of Nordic-Baltic cooperation, aiming to identify what makes international cooperation successful.
Keywordsadult education lifelong learning Nordic-Baltic cooperation Latvia learning opportunities sociocultural ecology
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