Filozofická Fakulta

Introduction of the Department


The Department of Adult Education and Personnel Management is currently operating as a continuation of the activities carried out by the first such university department in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s, established at the Faculty of Education, Charles University in Prague. There were attempts to establish an analogous unit during the second half of the 1960s by the Institute of Public Education and Journalism, later known as the Faculty of the Social Sciences and Journalism, Charles University in Prague. Being characterized by extremely intensive scientific and publication activities, this period of the latter 1960s also serves as a source of inspiration for the present. The aforementioned attempts to launch a new branch of study led to the creation of an independent station, which – under the name of the Department of Adult Upbringing and Education – soon found its home in the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. The Department entered the last decade of the 20th century as a radically innovative, modern programme with a self-contained social science station. Adult Education, under the name of Andragogy, was introduced as a new branch of study in the academic year of 1991/1992, and the name of this discipline was incorporated in the name of the department one year later.

The name of the Department of Adult Education and Personnel Management refers to two branches with a common goal – human development. Accordingly, adult education and personnel management overlap in quite a few areas, drawing from a number of separate, coexisting disciplines that – aside from maintaining their distinctive features – are designed to foster synergic effects.

The Department’s educational and research activities, including publication, focus on various forms of education, learning and the management of people in varied environments and stages of adult life. Conceived on a wider basis, teaching and learning are understood as individualized processes that are, at the same time, significantly codetermined by the wider social and cultural environment. In this context, it is possible to distinguish and analyze relations on many levels, from an organizational level to national and multinational levels (regional as well as global).

The relations between the aforementioned contexts and their transformations facilitate the understanding of various concepts which have been examined for a relatively long time (among others: life-long education and learning, knowledge society, social capital, active citizenship and learning organization). Rather than being confined to the description of monitored facts, the research strives to draw attention to existing discrepancies and problems of reality. Besides up-to-date nuances of meaning and transformation of education, the Department’s interest also concentrates on the historical analysis of monitored phenomena and the development of opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired into the practice of contemporary social life, whether in public policies, non-profit organizations activities and company practice.

Being of high social importance, the branch of adult education and personnel management is appealing, and its concept is based on the humanities-oriented tradition of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, along with modern approaches of the social sciences such as multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches in particular. The Department fosters cooperation with a great many of branches of the social sciences; its external teachers are from an academic and practical environments alike. In this connection, an emphasis is placed on the areas of vocational psychology, labour law, information technologies in adult education and personnel management and the analysis of educational policies.