University of Oulu

Aikuisen kasvu ja oppiminen kirkossa : suomen evankelis-luterilaisen kirkon käsitys aikuiskasvatuksesta, aikuisten oppimisesta ja opettamisesta vuosina 1958-1990 käydyn asiantuntijakeskustelun pohjalta

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Author: Leppisaari, Irja1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher Education
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.2 MB)
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Language: Finnish
Published: 2000
Publish Date: 2000-08-10
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Esitetään Oulun yliopiston kasvatustieteiden tiedekunnan suostumuksella julkisesti tarkastettavaksi Linnanmaan Kajaaninsalissa (L 6) 15. syyskuuta 2000 klo 12.
Reviewer: Professor Leena Ahteenmäki-Pelkonen
Professor Kari E. Nurmi


Adult education provided by society has been on the rise. From the Church's standpoint, however, adult education has not been developed sufficiently to meet the demands of today. In my study I deal with the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran concepts of adult education, adult learning and teaching as well as the underlying concepts of man during the years 1958 to 1990. The main sources for my thesis are the documents concerning adults in the Total Plan for Church Education and the specialist discussion in the magazine of Kristillinen kasvatus. In addition, I look at the supplementary material of the adult education of the beginning of the 1980's. As the theoretical basis I have the framework of adult educational philosophy and learning theory (behaviorist, cognitive-constructive and humanistic). My method of study is a qualitative content analysis.

The Christian concept of man as an open concept of man enables making good use of knowledge. Yet the tension between the theological and the pedagogical framework is evident. The relation of faith and education is defined as dialectic and the relation of theology and pedagogics is defined as dialogic. The adult right for the kind of adult education that supports personal growth is defended, the adult education of society is criticized because of its emphasis on utility. The discussion conveys the experience of an adult not being seen as a subject but being made into an object instead, which refers to the behaviorist concept of man. The humanistic concept of man is given support, there is a certain boundary aspect in relation to man's goodness and unrealistic educational optimism, but it is also the Christian concept of man that considers it man's duty to develop himself.

The emphasis on life-long learning awakes one to see that the idea is based on the grounds of the Church. Living as a Christian is a life-long growth and learning process. Adult education is most generally understood as supportive to the holistic growth of an adult. When setting educational goals the behaviorist view is given up and the setting of the goals in interaction with adults is emphasized. The relation to the adult education of society is defined as complementary and advanced.

Along with the Total Plan for Church Education largely based on behaviorist model, it is learning, however, that is regarded as more important than teaching. While knowledge cannot be transmitted, the process nature of learning cognitive-constructively is emphasized. In adult education learning is seen as humanistic growth, growing humanistically. Freire's educational philosophy gives support to seeing adults as subjects in a parish. Parish pedagogics wishes to make parishes into intergenerational learning communities. Adult teaching needs to change from the one-way communication of the Catechism tradition into a dialogue. Interaction and making use of experience are considered integral elements in adult encounter. Different concepts of learning live side by side in the Church. The humanistic concept of learning has gained a footing since the 1970's in the field of adult education, especially in supplementary training. On the official and specialist level the adult educational thinking of the Church seems to have kept up with pedagogical knowledge. Teaching methods may change in parishes when parish workers adopt a new concept of learning, which is a challenge to education.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. E, Scientiae rerum socialium
ISSN-E: 1796-2242
ISBN: 951-42-5710-3
ISBN Print: 951-42-5709-X
Issue: 44
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2000. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.