Curriculum development

ALE/Adult educators

Adult educators are central agents for the delivery and promotion of quality adult and lifelong learning around the globe. The Belém Framework for Action (BFA)[1] the outcome document of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, 2009) – and the more recent UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE, 2015), identify the professionalization of ALE educators as key to promoting quality ALE in UNESCO Member States.

In both documents, Member States commit to implementing quality criteria for curricula, developing training materials, and improving training and employment conditions for adult educators. To support these efforts, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is cooperating with DVV International, the German Institute for Adult Education – Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE), and the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) to develop an updated curriculum framework for capacity development among adult educators in Member States. The aim is to equip this group to implement a range of ALE programmes that address the learning needs of people from all backgrounds.

Based on Curriculum globALE, the updated curriculum framework will comprise a revised set of professional skills and subject areas, and define the individual attitudes, values and ethics considered to be the hallmark of good educators.

The updated curriculum will initially be aimed at ALE institutions and organizations wishing to ensure that their educators’ qualifications are in line with professional standards. Curriculum globALE is a quality assurance framework that lays down international standards while making provision for specialist audiences and educational policy decision-makers from institutions outside the field of ALE. The framework aims to help Member States plan and implement national training measures for adult educators, and promote the discourse on and around professionalization in this field.

The aim of developing an international curriculum and competence framework for adult educators feeds into UIL’s mandate to support Member States in implementing BFA and RALE, which in turn contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


[1] UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). 2010. CONFINTEA VI. Belém Framework for Action: Harnessing the power and potential of adult learning and education for a viable future. Hamburg, UIL.