Secondary research report
This paper reports an analysis of the state of the art of cooperation between the art world and the world of adult education in Italy from academic texts to a collection of best practices on the ground.
Adult education refers to all those lifelong learning practices that take place in formal or nonformal settings and involve people over the age of 16. It aims to improve their technical or vocational qualifications, but also to develop their soft skills, values and attitudes. Lifelong learning is, in fact, an essential tool for personal development and can be carried out in many different contexts.
Non-formal learning refers to organized learning practices and processes that take place outside formal educational institutions. They are usually participatory and learner-centered in that they emphasize “intrinsic learner motivation, voluntary participation, critical thinking and democratic agency,” employing a set of basic learning principles, methodologies and approaches designed specifically for this purpose. Art, in all its forms, is one of the mediums that best meet this purpose.
Art, beyond aesthetics, is a fundamental tool for acquiring not only professional skills and knowledge, but also social and emotional skills. It supports critical thinking and helps male and female students find their own personal path of knowledge through unconventional methods. Art activity enhances the learner’s perception skills and creativity, encourages self-expression and helps develop emotional intelligence.
Art is also a language capable of connecting individuals and cultures. It can facilitate the search for a balance between individual development and collective well-being, and it becomes a tool for improving our conditions and relationships with our environment, also serving as a powerful means of social inclusion when working with migrants, minorities or other vulnerable groups.