Special Issue on Adult Education, the Arts and Creativity.

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Special Issue on Adult Education, the Arts and Creativity

Abstract Deadline: 29th February 2020

Engagement in the arts and creative practice can bring many positives to adult education and learning communities, acting as a release and providing opportunities to reactivate, strengthen and increase existential joy, but also, to explore critically the challenges we face in this deeply troubled world (Cucoş 2014; Bishop, Etmanski & Page, 2019). A need for new ways of thinking, being, doing, and knowing has inspired many adult education scholars “to enter into the realm of experimentation, co-learning, creativity, and innovation—spaces where they don’t know the answers and where their current knowledge may be incomplete or even wrong” (Bishop et al., 2019, p. ii). Arts and expressive mediums can encapsulate many forms including performative, visual and narrative to enhance their practice, conduct research and contribute to social, cultural, gender and ecological justice and change agendas. In this special issue of Studies in the Education of Adults we invite authors to consider how the arts and creative practices are being used as tools of adult education and lifelong learning in communities, workplaces, universities, colleges and other types of institutions; to explore the links between learning, creativity and education and the role of arts in the social, gender and ecological change/justice context. We welcome papers which focus on employing arts-based research approaches and detail the successes (and challenges) when using such innovative methodologies in the context of adult learning.

The purpose of this special edition is to provide a forum for adult educator practitioners and scholars to share their creative practice and provide insight into the use of art-based research approaches. We wish to share empirical research, theorise from the literature, or tell ‘stories’ of struggle and/or potential. Articles will be grounded in discourses of adult education (i.e., popular education, social learning, community education, transformative learning, critical and feminist adult education, indigenous adult education, public pedagogies and so on). Papers could consider the use of art and creativity in relation to modes of teaching, learning or research.

Guest Editors: Nic Dickson (University of Glasgow), Darlene E. Clover (University of Victoria).

Submission information

If you are interested in submitting an article, please provide a 500-word abstract (no more than this) by 29th February 2020 to Nic Dickson on [email protected].


You will be notified no later than 31st March 2020 of acceptance. If your abstract is accepted, the full article will need to be submitted by August 15th for external peer review. Articles will be limited to between 6000 and 8000 words in length and may be submitted as an email attachment in Word. We encourage articles that make use of creative/ visual images /hyperlinks, as appropriate. Full guidelines will be sent out to those accepted.

Please note that although your abstract may be selected and you prepare a paper, we cannot guarantee acceptance by peer reviewers. Papers will be double-blind peer reviewed. For correspondence on this and more details please contact Nic Dickson.

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Cucoş, C. (2014). The role of arts in adult education. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences142, 300-305.

Bishop, K., Etmanski, E. & Page, B. (Eds) (2019). Engaged scholarship and the arts. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning 5(2) i-x.