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  • Mitraniketan Group couples Enlightenment and AWE

    Posted on February 25th, 2012 John Petersen 1 comment

    Mitraneketan seminar February 2012A group of AWE members gathered primo February in Mitraniketan, India, suggests rediscovering the concept of Enlightenment for the 21st century.


    According to a set of recommendations that was released yesterday, a group within Association for World Education (AWE) wishes to revitalize the concept of Enlightenment for the 21st century and within AWE.

    The recommendations imply that the AWE network could be strengthened by organizing events on Enlightenment throughout the world and among AWE’s chapters and members.

    The Mitraniketan group also foresees that its Enlightenment ideas should be further developed.

    The AWE Enlightenment Seminar in Mitraniketan took place from January 31-February 4, 2012. A steering group pushed forward by AWE vice-president Chris Spicer organized the seminar. The group gathered in India was originally formed through the AWE International Council that took place at IPC, Elsinore, in 2010.

  • Association for World Education @ A World Worth Living In

    Posted on June 14th, 2011 admin No comments

    Turning Torso is the landmark of Malmö, SwedenAdult educators from 80 nations are gathering in Sweden at this very moment. The headline of their gathering is A World Worth Living In, and AWE is there to share.


    The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) World Assembly is the main event that brings together adult educators and learners from around the world every four years. This time, the assembly is accompanied by a range of different side events. The assembly and the side events have together the title A World Worth Living In.

    By now, most of the participants have checked in for the VIII World Assembly in Malmö, Sweden, and they are preparing for the informal welcome session at 9 pm (CET). Among the participants are several AWE members representing different organisations.

    AWE is there to share

    “We are here to get inspiration and to share views on how to bring World Education into the 21st century,” says Rikke Schultz. She is representing AWE in Malmö together with AWE vice president Chris Spicer. Another AWE vice president Edicio de la Torre is present as well, representing the Education for Life Foundation.

    “Concretely, I will do my best to share impressions from the conference. Tell members and others to go to our Facebook Fansite,” stresses Schultz from Malmö. “I hope we are connected from the assembly hall.”

    “Particularly, we hope to find inspiration for our reflection journey on challenges and learning methodologies,” says Schultz and reminds of the next AWE meeting at Mitraniketan in Kerala, India, in 2012.

    There is an option to watch A World Worth Living In by on-line live streaming, just as the organisers has opened a Flickr account for photos. The programme, list of organisers and co-organisers and more social media options are to find at the conference website. The conference ends on the 17th.

  • Educators shall rediscover World Education

    Posted on April 14th, 2011 admin 1 comment

    A large scale process within the AWE has been launched. AWE educators are going to reflect systematically on the relevance of World Education in the 21st century.


    In the next coming years AWE educators are going to focus on what unites them across borders of all kinds. AWE educators will try to map the common challenges they see for humanity, and the principles and learning methodologies they share.

    The longstanding reflection journey will pass the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) in Malmö, Sweden, 2011 and Mitraniketan in Kerala, India, in 2012 before it results in findings presented to the AWE International Council in 2013, and in an issue of the Journal of World Education.

    This is stated in an early April letter to the general membership of AWE. It was sent by AWE vice president Chris Spicer on behalf of a steering group.

    Important to work with like-minded educators

    “I hope the project will help paint a clearer picture of the AWE,” says Chris Spicer on Skype from Massachusetts, “and make our movement more visible.”

    “Our Edugame and some exchange programs are already visible on our website, but I am sure there is a lot more to tell and that our pedagogical practices can inspire others.”

    AWE’s visibility is also closely connected with the possibility of inspiration the other way round, explains Spicer:
    “The project will function as an open invitation for anyone to inquire, to collaborate, and to learn about AWE’s work. It is important to work with as many like-minded organizations and individuals as we can.”

    Spicer mentions the ICAE in Malmö as an obvious place for inspiration to go both ways, especially because of the focus on Nordic folk education. Beyond this common theme, he expects of ICAE that it will become a mall of living traditions that can inspire World Educators everywhere.

    Time-tested ideas may deliver the links

    Spicer has an assumption that he doesn’t hesitate to share. He hopes the common ground will be found in a more encompassing learning practice stemming from old ideas:
    “I believe we will rediscover common links in old ideas that have been pushed to the margins, but that I think the 21st century needs badly.”

    Spicer refers to the so-called universal thinkers, such as India’s Tagore and Gandhi, Denmark’s N.F.S. Grundtvig, Brazil’s Paulo Freire, and many more.

    ”But whatever our inspiration from the past, we must make the ideas come alive in a new way,” says Spicer on behalf of the steering group.

  • Anthology bridges folk, people’s and world education

    Posted on October 29th, 2010 admin 1 comment

    “Lifted by the Heart” is an anthology edited by AWE vice-president Chris Spicer. It presents North-America’s folk and people’s education and links to a future possible refocusing on world education.


    Already the Grundtvig inspired title reveals what is considered the beginning of North-America’s folk and people’s education. It all begins with Scandinavian immigrating Grundtvig followers. However, generations of educators in North America are described in the anthology.

    And the future is as well touched upon. Chris Spicer and Alan Furth (Cobscook Community Learning Center) are examples of the current generation. Both are active in the Association for World Education and according to Spicer it may very well point forward: “[C]onnecting local people’s education to an international conversation about globalization and democracy” is Spicer’s expressed hope for the future.

    “However, the purpose is to tell the folk education story in America,“ explains Spicer. “It is an eclectic story of stories to be learned from in adapting Grundtvig, also in different cultures within North-America.”

    The anthology articles are – with one exception- previously issued in Option that was the Journal of the Folk Education Association of America (FEAA) that is also known as the Institute for People’s Education and Action (IPEA). The FEAA/IPEA is a chapter of AWE.

    From the contents of “Lifted by the heart”:
    Selected editorials (Kay Parke)
    Life’s Education (N.F.S. Grundtvig)
    Sing Appalachia (Johannes Knudsen)
    The Hodja and the Pulpit (Traditional)
    Between the Poets and the People (John Ramsay)
    Peace-Clay (John Ramsay)
    Grundtvig in My Experience (Johannes Knudsen)
    How I became a Folk High School Teacher (Christen Kold)
    Det Folkelighe (Albert Haugesund)
    On Firing the Smoke-toned Pot (Naoma Powell)
    An Open Letter to the Poets of America (Leonard Randolph)
    Folk College Initiatives by Danish Immigrants in America (Otto Hoiberg)
    In Debt to Heritage (Elise Hermansen Olsen)
    Farmin’ Land (Chuck Floro)
    Adapting the Danish Folk High School Idea to the United States (Chester A. Graham)
    The Clearing (Patricia A. Takemoto)
    Highlander Folk School (Myles Horton)
    Mountain Heritage (Don West)
    Culture: The Roots of Community Spirit (Jane Sapp)
    John & Olive Campbell, Pioneer Educators (Loyal Jones)
    Arthur E. Morgan, Grundtvig, and Education for Life (Griscom Morgan)
    Royce Pitkin: Founder of Goddard College (Evalyn Bates)
    Testimony (Don West)
    Residential Adult Education: A Canadian Memoir (R. Alex Sims)
    The Antigonish Movement and Its team (Kay Parke)
    A Call for Diversity (Jonie Kristensen)
    The Story of Audubon Expedition Institute (Coleen O´Connell & Louie Carl)
    The Story of Plaza Resolana (Kathleen Jimenez)
    To Be a Folk School Teacher (Frederik Christensen)
    From Ideas to Everyday Practice (Johan Norbeck)
    The Folk College in America (Kay Parke)
    Folk Education: A Historical Perspective on FEAA (John Ramsay)
    Folk Education in the United States Today (Chris Spicer)
    Folk, Folkelighed and Folk Education (Peter Siegle)
    N.F.S. Grundtvig’s International Influence on Education (Per Himmelstrup)
    The Archer and the Arrow (Traditional)

    The book is available via Chris Spicer whose contact coordinates are at the FEAA/IPEA website.

  • New AWE presidency represents continuity and renewal

    Posted on October 23rd, 2010 admin 1 comment

    jakob-erleAWE International Council has reelected Jakob Erle as AWE president. Next to Jakob Erle are as many as seven vice presidents. Four hold their first mandate, and three have already experience.


    AWE International Council got together Friday and elected a new presidency. The new and old names in the presidency together cover most of the world.

    As vice presidents were elected Edicio De la Torre (Philippines), Chris Spicer (Massachusetts), Lidia Shkorkina (Russia), Ana Maria Barros Pinto (Brasil), Sujit Kumar Paul (India), Theophilius Kwesi Tefe (Ghana), Lucie Cizkova (Association for Community Colleges, Europe).

    The Council takes place at the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. Around 25 world educators take part in the AWE triannual summit that is ending Saturday.