Department of Pedagogical Science and Andragogy
The Department of Pedagogy and Andragogy of Charles University in Bratislava was formed by the merger of two departments: Pedagogy and Andragogy, which until 1 September 2017 existed separately.
History of the Department of Pedagogical Science
The Department of Pedagogical Science is one of the oldest departments at Comenius University’s Faculty of Arts. Relatively shortly after its foundation, in the winter term of 1923/1924, the faculty opened a pedagogical school whose primary purpose was to provide pedagogical education for prospective secondary school teachers and to develop pedagogical science.
General Characteristics of the Department of Pedagogical Science
The Department of Pedagogical Science provides training for pedagogy teachers (in a double major programme in combination with a variety of fields), highly qualified experts in pedagogical theory and practice (in a single major programme) and general pedagogical training for teacher trainees. It also trains doctoral students in the field. The department also offers supplementary pedagogical training for university graduates. The study programmes on offer (the single or the double major teaching programme) allow students to specialize their studies, depending on their interests, in the following areas: ethical education, pedagogical counselling, pre-school pedagogy, social pedagogy and school pedagogy.
The research activities of the department’s faculty are in organic harmony with their teaching activities. Research output is incorporated into the teaching process. In the area of research, the department primarily centres on school pedagogy, social pedagogy, pre-school pedagogy, pedagogical diagnostics, didactics, the theory of education, alternative schools, pedagogical axiology, the methodology of educational sciences, the philosophy of education and pedagogical counselling. The results of the department’s research projects have been presented at domestic and foreign conferences and seminars and published in domestic and foreign journals and proceedings.
The department’s faculty have participated in several international projects and collaborated with other institutions on their research activities. The department has long-term research collaborations mainly with colleagues in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and the Netherlands.
The Department of Education at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava as a scientific and pedagogical workplace is an integral part of faculty structure and fulfils the following tasks:
1. formation of the future teachers of pedagogy (in combination with teaching of other academic subject),
2. formation of the highly qualified experts in the field of pedagogic theory and practice (in the one field study),
3. pedagogical formation of teacher candidates for academic subjects,
4. formation of students in the doctoral program in the field of pedagogy,
5. development of pedagogical theory and scientific research,
6. organization of supplementary pedagogical study for the graduates of universities.
History of tahe Department of Andragogy
The Department of Andragogy is the direct successor of the Department of Higher Education Pedagogy established at the Faculty of Arts in 1961. The department’s initial focus was the study of educational and research activities done at higher education institutions. As early as in the 1961/1962 academic year, the department started organizing one-off training sessions, as well as systematic courses in the theory and methodology of higher education pedagogical studies. These courses were applied to the specific needs of individual universities and colleges.
The focus on pedagogical studies and education of adults established the department as the principal research institution in Slovakia in the field of higher and adult education pedagogical theories, as a management and methodological centre for research in the area of modern didactic technology and the history and present of the youth movement in Czechoslovakia, as well as a workplace which applied the results of academic research to the system of post-graduate pedagogical and psychological training of university teachers.
In the 1980s higher education pedagogical studies created increasingly more space to explore the needs and conditions in which people could participate in lifelong learning. This resulted not only in the educational and research work done by the department, but also in the growing involvement of the department’s members in teaching courses of the adult education study programme. The department made great use of theoretical research and practical experience in the field of higher education pedagogy which can be considered a specific applied discipline of professional education and training of adults. In doing so, the department linked its activities to the professional education and training of adult study programme which was first offered to students at the Department of Pedagogy as part of pedagogical studies in the 1970/1971 academic year. In the 1980/1981 academic year, the programme became a standalone study programme. In the 1986/1987 academic year, adult education and training became part of the curriculum of the Department of Higher Education Pedagogy. The growing and changing focus of the department was also expressed in the extension of its name to the Department of Higher Education Pedagogy, Education and Training of Adults.
In the 1986–1990 period, both education and training of adults (now a standalone study programme) and higher education pedagogy (including post-graduate studies) were steadily growing at the department.
The period after 1990 brought new discussions about the department’s focus, position and mission. The formal outcome of these discussions was a change of the department’s name to the Department of Adult Education and the birth of the new andragogy study programme in 1990/1991. This development was reflected in another change of the department’s name: on 1 January 1992 it became the Department of Andragogy and has maintained this name ever since.
General Characteristics of the Department of Andragogy
Research and teaching at the Department of Andragogy is based on the concept of lifelong education which started to be shaped in Slovakia in the early 1990s. The andragogy concept draws on the concept of adult pedagogy, however, is much broader in scope. Andragogy, as a pedagogical science, can be viewed as a science concerned with the education of adults. The focus of andragogy is the intentional socialization of adults and the issues related to helping adults in all areas of their life (professional, leisure, and social welfare). Examining adult education requires an interdisciplinary approach wherein specific andragogical phenomena are explored, not just psychological or sociological issues.
Drawing on the basic constituents of human life – employment, leisure and social welfare – the system of andragogy is divided into three fundamental subsystems, or disciplines:
Professional andragogy – includes further professional education, personal management, human resources development, professional consultancy, etc.;
Cultural andragogy – includes leisure activities, cultural and educational activities, interests and hobbies, and civic education;
Social andragogy – includes social work and care.
Andragogy is a young science which keeps developing. In Slovakia, the development of andragogy as a science discipline and field of study has been propelled by the research work done by the Department of Andragogy. The results of the department’s academic research have enriched the field of andragogy with new theoretical insight and also helped promote andragogy as a discipline. In turn, this has also improved adult education as such, and enhanced the practical application of andragogy. The department’s researchers are actively involved in the VEGA and KEGA grant schemes, and have also participated in several international research projects.
The results of research and scholarship at the department – along with internationally acquired knowledge and the needs of practical application of lifelong education – have become the necessary foundation for the shaping of a modern concept of the new study field in andragogy.
There is a social demand for study programmes and graduates in andragogy, which is directly related to a growing importance of further education as part of lifelong learning. Requirements for andragogical theory and practice, as well as for highly qualified specialists in this field, are growing. The integrating character of andragogy, a modern science discipline, opens the gates for graduates to find nearly any job in practical employment or in research.
As a field of study, andragogy is currently offered on all three levels of study. The second level requires applicants to have graduated from a Bachelor’s programme in andragogy or a related field, such as pedagogy.
Graduates from all three levels of study can find a variety of jobs depending on the aims, content and total scope of their study. While studying, students can register for optional, or semi-optional classes, thus individually shaping their degree profile with a focus on professional, cultural and educational, or social andragogy.
The andragogy study programme concept is in line with the compatibility of study as set by the European Union. Study programmes based on the credit transfer system allow student mobility in all of Europe.