Private World(s)

Gender and Informal Learning of Adults

  • Joanna Ostrouch-Kamińska
  • Cristina C. Vieira

Part of the Research on the Education and Learning of Adults book series (ESRE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
    1. Joanna Ostrouch-Kamińska, Cristina C. Vieira
      Pages 1-12
  2. Private Spheres

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Katarina Popović, Maja Maksimović, Aleksandar Bulajić
      Pages 15-30
    3. Joanna Ostrouch-Kamińska
      Pages 31-40
    4. Astrid Seltrecht
      Pages 41-57
    5. Joana Pisco Véstia Da Silva, Cristina C. Vieira
      Pages 59-71
  3. Minorities and Activism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Catherine André, Elisabeth Hofmann
      Pages 75-89
    3. Letitia Trifanescu
      Pages 91-101
    4. Barry Golding, Lucia Carragher
      Pages 103-118
  4. (Non)Formal Contexts of Informal Learning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Susana Villas-Boas, Albertina L. Oliveira, Nátalia Ramos
      Pages 121-134
    3. Małgorzata Ciczkowska-Giedziun
      Pages 135-143
    4. Martina Endepohls-Ulpe, Elisabeth Sander, Georg Geber, Claudia Quaiser-Pohl
      Pages 145-156
    5. Elmira Bancheva, Maria Ivanova
      Pages 157-182
    6. Joanna Ostrouch-Kamińska, Cristina C. Vieira
      Pages 183-190
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 191-194

About this book


This book is the fourth production from the ESREA Gender network and the third in the ESREA Sense bookseries. Once more, there is an opportunity for readers to gain a better understanding of questions related to gender and adult learning from researchers deeply involved in this specific field of adult education. The notion of informal learning has already been treated as a chapter in the 2003 book, but it becomes central and relevant in this new book with the growing complexity of our society. The editors emphasise “private world(s)s” in the book title, but the content of the book proves that informal learning processes, aside from the self, are combined with contextual opportunities, which have been chosen or not. Their introduction covers the essential concepts of gender and informal learning. The contributors enlighten the debate with their geographical diversity all over Europe, but also with their diverse theoretical systems of references to the diverse social contexts that have been analysed. The first part of this book, entitled “private spheres”, presents and analyses painful gendered discriminations and injustices. We can’t escape to the emotions it evokes, from the soldiers after the war to men’s breast cancer: both relate to men and the specificity of their suffering. This is an interesting and quite new opportunity to question gender. In the second part related to “minorities and activism”, we discover groups who learn through their organised fight against discriminations. Emotions give way to a positive energy when we discover the strategies that feminists, or migrants or also retired men find to question the society in which they live. The authors show us not only what is learned by such communities, but also what their environment can learn from them. The last part of the book leads us to different “contexts of informal learning”, mostly related to opportunities and obstacles in education and work situations. Community training, social work studies, scientist’s work and management school are the contexts chosen to clarify stereotypes and the discrimination along the lifespan for women. From East to West and North to South of Europe, it seems once more that the debate presents a lot of similarities. This book can be considered as original in its area and useful, mostly because it presents a mixture of sadness and hope within gendered learning processes. In this book, it seems that men take their place in the gender debate and its analysis with a new vision of the male realities. More than anything else, this book is a reminder of what has to be done in our society, specifically in adult education, to imagine and to create better pathways, conditions and issues to respect all learners, women as well as men. – Edmee Ollagnier, Ex-University of Geneva, Switzerland


adult education gender gender roles informal learning men and women

Editors and affiliations

  • Joanna Ostrouch-Kamińska
    • 1
  • Cristina C. Vieira
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Warmia and MazuryPoland
  2. 2.University of CoimbraPortugal

Bibliographic information