"Supporting transitions - Promotion of lifelong learning" was the motto of the Innovation Prize for Continuing Education 2009. With this award, the German Institut for Adult Education - Leibniz Centre for Lifelong Learning (DIE) pursues the objective of honouring innovative practice for developing transitions and presenting them to a wider public.

During their lifetime, people face the challenge of coping with changes. In the process, obtacles need to be overcome e.g. during the transition from school to vocational training, during career (re-)entry or change, when taking on an honorary office, and during age-related changes.

Applications were welcome from the following areas:

  • Transition school - vocational education and training
  • Career (re-)entry and changes
  • Age-related changes
  • Entry in honorary positions

Formal education/transitions were possible as well as contexts based on informal learning.

Nation supporting providers of these fields were invited to hand in their innovative concepst. Particular emphasis was put on a focus on participants and learning biography. In addition, all innovative concepts were required to cover the entire lifetime and not merely focus on target groups threatened by exclusion. As a result, all innovative programme based on transition should be made available for the debate between research, politics and practice. Essential criteria for all projects was an innovative charcter and a successful practical implementation.

A key quality criteria for the project evaluation was that the design was not only structural and organisationally suited, but oriented towards learning biographies. The postulate of lifelong learning needed to be obvious. Educational projects and models were wanted, which develop and implement educational concepts for capturing learning in a biographic perspective and under particular consideration of transitions between education and life phases.

Admission criteria

  • projects and models based in any educational institution as well as in other organisations, entreprises or initiatives
  • tested or implemented in practice
  • innovative
  • obvious relation to (learning)biography
  • target group: (young) adults

Twelve projects, which support transition as part of adult education, were nominated by the DIE and evaluated by the jury.

Jury members 2009

  • Dr. Knut Diekmann
    • Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK)
  • Prof. Dr. Heide von Felden
    • Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
  • MinR Hans Peter Hochstätter
    • Hesse Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs
  • Prof. Dr. Nicole Hoffmann
    • University Koblenz-Landau
  • Dr. Silvia Matalik
    • Project Management Agency German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
  • Prof. Dr. Eckart Severing
    • Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (f-bb)

Winners of Innovation Prize for Continuing Education 2009

The following three projects were awarded the Innovation Prize for Continuing Education 2009:

  • KOBRA – Counselling for women and entreprises
  • Association Kulturstadt Görlitz-Zgorzelec
  • Werkstadt im Kreis Unna



Sarah Behr

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