Invisible profession. Facts and tendencies about 25 years of adult training in Hungary

Farkas Éva (2013). A láthatatlan szakma. Tények és tendenciák a felnőttképzés 25 évéről (Invisible profession. Facts and tendencies about 25 years of adult training in Hungary). TypiArt Médiaműhely. (Available in Hungarian)


Having conducted much research and authored a number of studies, lecturer and andragogy specialist Dr Éva Farkas presents in this book the 25-year history of the transformation of the domestic adult education system. She sheds light on the underlying political, economic and labour market factors determining the events. Her work gives a comprehensive and complete picture of the situation of the domestic education system, in particular adult education. The volume can also be considered to be a scientific synthesis and an evaluative review of trends and as such therefore fills a gap in the range of books on domestic educational science, in particular andragogy. The reader is introduced step by step to the factors creating pressure towards transformation and to sometimes untenable contradictions between theory and practice. The book also provides an insight into the tasks facing us and international trends as well as allowing the reader to make comparisons.

Éva Farkas’s research is directed at the human being. Apart from presenting the social role of adult learning, she also analyses the situation of andragogy specialists. Research into the identity of the andragogist is an unprecedented attempt to describe the birth and strengthening of a “new” profession. That is the point at which we understand most of all what motivated the author to write this book. Her work is pervaded by the conviction that adult education can be one of our most important tools to eliminate inequalities, poverty, vulnerability and unemployment. As Professor András Benedek, the reviewer of the book puts it, Éva Farkas is a “slave to her profession in the best sense of the word”.

This publication can make a useful read not only for professionals but also for students wishing to learn about the era, for those interested in education and for lay readers. As a testimony to its scientific value, here again the words of Professor Benedek, a domestic authority on adult education, are quoted:

„…The exploration and analysis of theoretical processes have given the author a foundation on which to build profound empirical research. This feature highlights the practical value of her work even if by the end of the research period a newly emerging regulatory environment created a pressure towards the adjustment of developments that had gained speed by the turn of the millennium. All these factors taken together point out the theoretical and practical relevance of this ambitious venture also from the aspect of a revisited frame of reference. In particular, the author’s guiding principle whereby she examines the evolution of adult education in the context of economic and labour market processes merits highlighting for its originality. In this respect, her work formulates particularly valuable insights for the latest research in the field of educational science, in particular in relation to vocational and adult education, as well as higher education, and lays down scientifically proven principles for wider application.”