Highlights from many years of cooperation in the projects of the SIAE
The article was prepared by colleagues who worked closely with Sabina, learned from her and forged friendship with her. It is hard for us to accept that we had to say goodbye to her, but at the same time, we know that with her extremely extensive work, heartiness and energy she spread, she will stay with us forever.
Participation in training programmes and seminars for professionals and other adult educators
Dr Sabina Jelenc Krašovec was a valuable colleague in the training programmes and seminars for professionals and other adult educators that we carry out at the SIAE. She participated in the development and implementation of programmes: Characteristics of adult learners and the teacher’s role in promoting the learning process, Teaching methods and techniques for adult learners, Education of the elderly — a challenge for adult educators, etc.
As you walked the halls of the SIAE, it was not difficult to figure out that Sabina was in the lecture room. She was not just a scientist and researcher. Sabina had that something that is sometimes so hard to describe with words — immense energy and desire to convey a message about what andragogy is, why it is important, why and how to develop ALE approaches that encourage us to step out of the already known paths. She has always emphasised that the adult educator is not the one who addresses the participants from behind the teacher’s desk but the one who takes the first step on a new path of learning and co-creates the educational process together with them. She did not have to lecture or explain all this. Already the mere experience of Sabina while working in groups of adult participants was enough for mental shifts to begin to take place in professionals and other adult educators. With her uprightness, she challenged the participants not to be just the recipients of what they hear and see but to be guided by the thought that the adult educator must be a critical thinker, not someone who merely recreates society but the one who co-creates it. With that, she encouraged new thought processes and paths to different actions in many of us who had the opportunity to listen to her, experience her, had discussions with her. With the work she did, she touched the deepest layers of the professional development of adult educators. She also raised concerns about the professional identity and the role that adult educators have in society. In everything she did in the groups of adult learners, she had credibility because she did not only teach andragogy but lived it in every breath, in every movement, in everything she did.
Dr Tanja Možina (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE
Dr Sabina Jelenc Krašovec and adult literacy in Slovenija
Sabina Jelenc Krašovec has been associated with adult literacy in Slovenia since her academic years. She kept coming back to this field, and she left an indelible imprint. It is probably not a coincidence that already in her thesis (together with Ema Perme), she bravely embarked on an entirely new field in ALE, which was the study of literacy and functional literacy of inmates in Slovenia. They presented the results of their research at the First Conference on Functional Literacy of Adults held at the SIAE in April 1992. In the summary of their presentation, they wrote: “When addressing issues such as literacy, society often does not want to acknowledge that a certain phenomenon occurs in the whole population and reflects the overall situation of the society.” It seems this sentence captures much of what made Sabina an original and genuine adult educator. Namely, her criticism of decision-makers in society, her commitment to justice and equal opportunities in ALE, her genuine interest in the position and possibilities of vulnerable groups of adults, her commitment to promoting andragogy as an interdisciplinary science and profession that has the power to open up ways for various discarded groups of adults to rise from the social background. In the decade and a half after her graduation, when it became clear that she had opted for an academic career, she never refused to participate in training programmes for teachers carrying out the Learning for enhanced life efficiency programmes. Time and time again, she told teachers who had very different backgrounds and experiences that being an adult educator is a mission, and she radiated that with all her being. At a very young age, she was able to lay the foundations on ALE of the training for the development of literacy as well as the theoretical basis for that, which many teachers learned only through experience in working with adults. In one of her first publications, the textbook ABC on adult education (1994), she identified the types, fields and forms of ALE, barriers to learning and motives for it, the role of methods, forms and teaching aids in working with adults. She was aware that ‘the textbook defines the teacher’s specific role in adult learning; its main task is to help the student become independent’.
Only a man with a pure heart and broad knowledge can understand the essence of the message left by the Brazilian philosopher and adult educator Paulo Freire in the field of literacy and education of marginalised groups. Sabina understood the timelessness of the power distribution in society and the causes of inequality that Freire had been pointing out all his life. In her article Modern theories of adult education and starting points in working with vulnerable target groups (2011), she analysed the work of various authors and different philosophical starting points and showed that education in the field of literacy is the one where socio-cultural and educational work is most promising.
Sabina concluded the path to the literacy of adults with a research paper and analysis of the skills of older workers in the research Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competences entitled Factors of education and training of older workers in Slovenia 50+ (2018). She was unwaveringly critical of the international organisation of wealthy countries, but despite that, as a researcher, she showed the importance of data when it comes to understanding the willingness of older workers to participate in education. As a connoisseur of ALE, the data from a survey on the mentoring role of older people, which suggested that ‘mutual help in the workplace depends more on education than age’, made an impact on her. Older and uneducated workers are not expected to teach the younger ones and pass on their knowledge to them. Differences between the two groups are evident in all dimensions. The less educated are generally less satisfied, they are less willing to participate in education, and they transfer less or almost none of their knowledge to younger people. Sabina outlined a path to promote the education of older employees. Adult educators and decision-makers should listen more thoroughly to her findings and reflections if we want to make a difference.
“You are guided through life by an inner, learning, playful spiritual being that is your true self,” she summed up in her first textbook for adults. Sabina, because I knew you, I know what you meant.
Estera Možina, MSc (email@example.com), SIAE
Cooperation in the field of the development of guidance in ALE
The SIAE employees, who work in the field of the development of guidance in ALE, established closer contact with Sabina when she became the lecturer of the subject guidance work in ALE that is part of the andragogic study at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. The first lecturer of this subject was her father, Dr Zoran Jelenc. In their first joint work in this field, the book Andragogic guidance work (2003), they comprehensively presented the complexity of guidance in ALE to the professional and general public. In this way, they also provided the basis for further development of this field at the SIAE.
In the model of regional guidance centre – ISIO centre (2000), developed at the SIAE, we emphasised the practical aspects of the implementation of guidance in ALE before, during and after adult education and learning takes place. The second important goal in the ISIO centre is the engagement of counsellors in ALE with other professional workers in the local or regional environment.
Sabina in her work theoretically explored different aspects of guidance work in ALE connected to the concept of lifelong learning and the learning community. In her works, she wrote that the principal purpose and goal of guidance work in ALE is to support as many adults as possible with successful learning and education. She emphasised the importance of the support in a form of guidance for adults when enrolling in education, organising education and learning as well as carrying out learning. She believed it was important that the individual, who is in a dynamic relationship with oneself, with others and factors in the environment, is at the centre when it comes to help and guidance.
At the SIAE, we always appreciated when she responded to our invitation and provided a theoretical contribution on guidance that was part of the professional materials we prepared for professionals in ALE. Thus, she is the co-author of various works and learning materials prepared for the training of professionals for andragogic guidance work. The training programmes she carried out have always been very well received as she has creatively combined theory with practice in workshops. She has not been able to be with us for the last three years, so we can say that we especially miss her presence in this field.
Since 2001, from the establishment of the first guidance centres for ALE — ISIO Centres, she has shown great interest in the practical aspects of the implementation of guidance and the counsellor’s role in it. She invited the SIAE colleagues to present this to her andragogy students, which was also important for us because we came into contact with our potential co-workers in ALE guidance. In doing so, she motivated quite a few students to research guidance work in ALE in their theses. She also took students on study visits to ISIO Centres in different regions because she recognised our commitment and effort that the guidance should reflect the needs of adults in their local environment. She saw a correlation between that and her commitment to strengthening adult learning in the community and passed it on to her students, adult educators in practice and also to us — the SIAE employees.
With her professional work, dedication and creative approaches in ALE, Sabina will forever remain a part of us as well as our successors.
Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MSc (firstname.lastname@example.org), SIAE
Community learning for adults — an example of study circles
Sabina was a very orderly woman with abundant human and professional energy. When I once asked her what was most difficult for her, she had the answer ready: “Step in front of people and give them energy when you are tired.”
In the background of her convincing lectures, there was plenty of studying and the abovementioned energy that was to some extent given and was probably, even more, a result of her upbringing but certainly, above all, it was gained by constant activity and study. Working with her was not just a flow of thoughts and ideas but an experience. She was interested in many things, and with her convincing performance, she certainly influenced everyone present. For example, she was interested in the future of ALE, critical thinking, learning organisations, the concept of lifelong learning and, in this context, study circles. Not only did she lecture in regular training programmes for study circle mentors for as long as she could, but she also co-authored several teaching materials for them. She was a study mentor to a colleague who led the development of these materials for some time. Recently, she has focused on the transformative potentials of learning practices, community members’ initiatives, the impact of Europeanisation on adult learning practices, intergenerational knowledge transfer, training of older people, participatory democracy and other challenges that build ALE and will continue to challenge readers.
The imprint she leaves behind as a thoughtful and critical person is not measured only in the number and complexity of publications but also in the way those of us who had the privilege of working with her remember her. I remember two mentors’ knowledge exams in which she participated as chair of the commission. The exam was conducted by simulating the stages of development of the study circle, with the commission systematically inserting more complex situations, e.g. a disturbing participant. Participants led the learning process one by one. The whole group had a lot of fun together with the commission and learned maybe even more than in the previous lectures, mainly thanks to Sabina. Despite the participants being nervous, she managed to attract them to form bonds with each other in a matter of hours. With that, she inspired them to share their creative ideas and added value, excess value, to which every study circle should strive in practice. This experience then spread throughout Slovenia as a seed for what, among other things, quality ALE should be like when organised in a group.
Her vivid and plastic thought, supported by emotional and social energy, decisively shaped the education programme for mentors and the participants’ way of thinking. Her focus on going beyond where others had gone has also been reflected in the international area of ALE. For example, she managed to place the conference European Society for Research on the Education of Adults, held in Ljubljana in 2015, on the premises of Metelkova, and brought inspiring authors to Ljubljana, e.g. Professor Gert Biesta.
We continue the thoughts and approaches of Prof Dr Sabina Jelenc Krašovec to the best of our ability, even now when her words and pen fell silent. We loved her not only as an expert but also as warmhearted personality with a smile on her face.
Dr Nevenka Bogataj (email@example.com), SIAE
ČERNOŠA, Slavica, KLEMENČIČ, Sonja, ŽALEC, Natalija, MIJOČ, Nena, KRAJNC, Ana, FINDEISEN, Dušana, JELENC-KRAŠOVEC, Sabina, MORANO, Miran. 1999. Multimedijski komplet za izobraževanje mentorjev študijskih krožkov. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije, 1999.
Funkcionalno opismenjevanje odraslih v Sloveniji. 1993. Poročilo o poteku dela v letu 1992 in zasnova programa dela v 1993. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 2018. Dejavniki izobraževanja in usposabljanja starejših delavcev (50+) v Sloveniji. V: Spretnosti odraslih (uredila Petra Javrh). Ljubljana : Andragoški center Slovenije. Str. 157–166.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 1994. ABC izobraževanja odraslih. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina, KUMP, Sonja. 2005. Uveljavljanje koncepta vseživljenjskega učenja na univerzi. Sodobna pedagogika, ISSN 0038-0474, 2005, letn. 56, št. 2, str. 46–60.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 1995. Prihodnost izobraževanja odraslih v Evropi – metodološki pristop in opis vzorca raziskave. Andragoška spoznanja, ISSN 1318-5160, 1995, letn. 1, št. 3/4, str. 39–43.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 1996. Razvoj kritičnega mišljenja in njegova uporaba v obdobju odraslosti. Andragoška spoznanja, ISSN 1318-5160, 1996, št. 4, str. 5–9.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 2000. Učeče se organizacije: pomen razvijanja učečih se organizacij v lokalni skupnosti. Andragoška spoznanja, ISSN 1318-5160, 2000, letn. 6, št. 3, str. 75–85.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 2005. Vloga študijskih krožkov pri razvijanju dejavne državljanskosti. V: BOGATAJ, Nevenka. Študijski krožki: od zamisli do sadov v prvem desetletju (Zbirka študije in raziskave, 12). Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije. Str. 98–106.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina, JELENC, Zoran. 2003. Andragoško svetovalno delo. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta Univerze v Ljubljani.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina, KNAFLIČ, Lidija, PERME, Ema, RADOVAN, Marko … ŽALEC, Natalija. 2007. Svetovalni pripomočki v izobraževanju odraslih. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije.
JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 2011. Sodobne andragoške teorije in izhodišča pri delu z ranljivimi ciljnimi skupinami. V: Obrazi pismenosti (uredila Petra Javrh). Ljubljana : Andragoški center Slovenije. Str. 36–66.
URH, Damjana. 2005. Vloga mentorja v učnem procesu : primer študijskega krožka : diplomsko delo. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta, Odd. za pedagogiko in andragogiko. Mentorica: Sabina Jelenc Krašovec.
VILIČ KLENOVŠEK, Tanja, KLEMENČIČ, Sonja. 2000. Model informativno-svetovalne dejavnosti v izobraževanju odraslih – ISIO. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije.
VILIČ KLENOVŠEK, Tanja, RUPERT, Jerca, JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 2011. Svetovalna dejavnost v izobraževanju odraslih. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije.
ŽALEC, Natalija, JELENC KRAŠOVEC, Sabina. 1999. Vodilo k multimedijskemu kompletu za izobraževanje mentorjev študijskih krožkov. V: ČERNOŠA, Slavica, et al. Multimedijski komplet za izobraževanje mentorjev študijskih krožkov. Ljubljana: Andragoški center Slovenije. 1999, str. 1–129.