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AutorIn: Dostal, Thomas
Titel: “The ‘Salzburg Talks’ mustn’t be just any old conference.” A review focused on aspects of the last 50 years
Jahr: 2009
Quelle: Translated from: Stefan Vater unter Mitarbeit von Laura R. Rosinger (Hrsg.): Eine Konferenz der anderen Art. 50 Jahre „Salzburger Gespräche“ für Erwachsenenbildung (= VÖV-Publikationen, Bd. 20), Frankfurt am Main-Berlin-Bern-Bruxelles-New York-Oxford-Wien 2009, S. 12-44.
[p. 12] “The ‘Salzburg Talks’ mustn’t be just any old conference.”1 A review focused on aspects of the last 50 years


1. Prehistory and Environment

Marked by the devastating consequences of the nationalism and racism of the Fascist and National Socialist tyranny in Europe, adult education in Europe in the years following 1945 was characterised by the guiding principles of an internationalism intent on international reconciliation. Education for democracy and for a tolerant coexistence of the peoples of Europe was the order of the day. Against the background of German history, the distinguished West German adult educator Fritz Borinski summarised the consequences and tasks for adult education in 1952 in the following way: “Adult education serves the purpose of international understanding as well as the real national popular education, when it works against and overcomes the feelings of inferiority of the peoples ‘who came too late’, when it liberates us from the resentments and sensitivities of the blatant self-praise and self-adulation of national insecurity. We must educate for critical thinking against the cheap, summary generalisations, the collective judgments of a nation (Austrians, Italians, French, and Germans), which have penetrated into our thinking through propaganda and the uncritical generalisation of random personal impressions [...] and block the way to people from other nations.”2 These ideas and efforts gained momentum through the international organisations founded soon after the end of the Second War World, the UN and UNESCO, which were symbols of the preservation of world peace and international understanding. Thus, during the UNESCO conference in Florence in 1950, the necessity of educational work was postulated, which was to be suited for “promoting mutual understanding, tolerance and friendship among all peoples, races and religious communities and to support the activities of the UN in preserving peace.”3

After two dictatorships – the Austrofascist between 1933/34 and 1938 as well as the National Socialist regime between 1938 [p.13] and 1945 – the demand in Austria for democratisation and international openness was very great. Many – especially Viennese – institutions of popular education were not only materially destroyed by the air raids, but had also lost personnel due to expulsion, exile, National Socialist extermination as well as due to military service. The mental effects of dictatorial indoctrination and ideological intolerance were no less damaging. The pioneering generation of Austrian adult education after 1945 put their educational work in the service of the democratisation of society in its inner core and in the service of the reconciliation and understanding between European peoples and nations. Renouncing the political “neutrality” of pre-war times, the commitment to active democratic engagement was not supposed to end at the borders of Austria. Several important protagonists of these efforts returned to Austria after 1945 from their forced emigration, for instance, Wolfgang Speiser,4 the later director of the Vienna Urania and Secretary General of the Verband Wiener Volksbildung (Vienna Association of Adult Education Centres) and the Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres), who returned quite early from his exile in Australia, or Karl R. Stadler,5 the later professor for contemporary history at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, head of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History of the Labour Movement and president of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres, who returned quite late from his exile in Great Britain. They could all draw on their wealth of experiences they had made with the educational institutions of their land of exile back home in Austria.6 Others had remained in Austria during National Socialism and had arrived at an accommodation with the regime to some extent like Herbert Grau,7 the later director of the Linz Adult Education Centre, who was apparently inducted into the SA in autumn 1938 as a member of a Grenzlandschar (borderland troop) and was a member of the NS Dozentenbund (an association of university lecturers of the National Socialists) as a lecturer for German Studies at the University of Vienna.8

The impetus for an international discussion on the general – common – tasks and problems of adult education in Europe came from the UNESCO, which held a conference focused on this topic in Austria in July and August 1950, thus during the “Cold War” which had already broken out.9 The venue of the conference – Kreuzstein am Mondsee – was the starting point of a decades-long tradition stretching up to the present, a tradition of conference organisation and culture unprecedented for adult education in [p. 14] Austria. 70 adult educators from 19 countries and 5 continents took part in this UNESCO seminar. The easy sounding task was to develop and discuss “methods of adult education”. However, what left a lasting impact was not so much the content of the conference, but its methods and atmosphere. The concept of the conference was based on the idea of designing the seminar according to the principles of contemporary adult education: open, self-governing and democratic. At the time, this concept was completely new, progressive and innovative for Austrian circumstances.

In concrete practice, the seminar in Kreuzstein was a combination of a fixed program and unforeseeable and unplanned possibilities of freely developing the conference. The organisers of the seminar did not seem to be as interested in tangible, presentable results as in the participants learning something from their involvement in the conference activities. This led to some confusion and disappointment at first. Many participants expected a clear conference framework, the presentation of specific information on the latest methods in adult education as well as clear messages and results that they could take home with them. However, instead of ready-to-use concepts, the personal contacts between adult educators from all over the world opened up a stimulating and productive exchange of experiences on common tasks, methods and problems of adult education and gave impetus to further cooperation in the future. In consideration of the productive momentum set in motion, some participants declared that the seminar would have been a success even if there had not been a specific conference agenda. The success of the conference was due less to ready-to-use knowledge of methods and technologies of adult education as to a better and deeper understanding of people and approaches in European adult education as well as to a stronger conviction that adult education could and must make an important contribution to international understanding.10

“Mondsee” was thus a kind of “group experiment” with voluntary self-organisation and self-responsibility. Each participant was both object and subject of an educational process, which was characterised by voluntary cooperation “on an equal footing” rather than by authoritarian instructions.11 Against the background of ominous developments in modern technology and the threat of the atomic bomb, “Mondsee” was also the postulate of an [p. 15] education for democratic citizens and for democratic citizens of the world: The human race can only be saved from destruction by arriving at a period of international understanding and cooperation. Thus a specific recommendation was the promotion of foreign language instruction in the service of international understanding.12

The “Spirit of Mondsee” gave impetus to the adult education work of many of the conference participants. This was also true for the later director of the Linz Adult Education Centre, Herbert Grau, who had taken part in the seminar in Mondsee as a librarian. For him, the seminar was a formative landmark in his work for adult education centres, which was focused on international understanding. The Linz Adult Education Centre had already begun to organise “International Summer Weeks” under his aegis starting in 1948. Grau supervised the first summer week in Pichl an der Enns in Styria in 1951 as well as the Instructor Working Group of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres, which included adult educators from many different European countries. The Dozentenwoche (Instructor Week) – a week of continuing education for course instructors and directors of adult education centres – brought adult education instructors from all over Austria together for the first time and thus gave them the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences.13

For the purpose of reporting and critical stocktaking of developments in adult education since the conference in Mondsee, one of the group leaders at the time of the conference, Jean le Veugle, who was Directeur des Études au Centre National d’Éducation Populaire at this time, extended an invitation to a follow-up meeting in the national adult education centre in Marly-le-Roi in the Île-de-France region from 11 to 21 May 1952. The lessons and effects of “Mondsee” were discussed in several working groups and plans were made for the future. It turned out that the UNESCO seminar in Kreuzstein am Mondsee had been the starting point for a wide variety of forms of international cooperation and exchanges of experience: It had thus led to international invitations and mutual visits of adult educators as well as the increased exchange of publications and materials. The discussion in Marly clearly showed the positive results of the seminar in Mondsee: The participants had learned that colleagues from other countries were talking about their experiments. And people were inspired to try something similar in their own field of activity. The “international community of Mondsee” – according to Herbert Grau – had given proof of itself at the meeting of Marly:14 “Although not every success in adult education in the individual countries can be traced back directly to the [p. 16] Mondsee seminar, they were all sustained by the Spirit of Mondsee. It was precisely the negative aspects of Mondsee that most often led to the positive ones, since they inspired criticism”.15

Thus, the “Spirit of Mondsee” also hovered over the conference in Marly-le-Roi, which was all about the need-based orientation and sociologisation of adult education: “We were all old friends, who, despite all the national differences, understood how to cooperate productively and to achieve results.”16 In addition, not only had international cooperation between adult educators increased since “Mondsee”, but adult education in many countries of Europe – not least thanks to precisely this international cooperation – had also gained greater acceptance, which found expression in the founding of national associations of adult education. No longer wanting to leave the establishing of international contacts up to the chance of individual initiatives, one decided in Marly-le-Roi to give the cooperation a more permanent form: A “newsletter” was to maintain the relationships and weave a communicative band around the nascent “friends of active adult educators”. Moreover, this “circle of friends” was to get together for a special conference at least every two years, at which a specific problem of adult education was to be discussed. This meeting was also supposed to be an opportunity to get to know the institutions of adult education in the respective host country.17

Right in the first newsletter, written by Herbert Grau, another international meeting was proposed under the indicative title of “Cooperation”, which was to be held this time in Salzburg. In the same vein, the idea of organising an international meeting again in 1952 had already been initiated at a meeting of representatives of adult education centres from Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Austria in Meran in October 1951. Under the auspices of UNESCO, the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres undertook the preparation of just such an international conference. The head of the Salzburg Adult Education Centre at the time, Otto Zwicker, and the head of the Linz Adult Education Centre at the time, Herbert Grau, were responsible for the organisation. Between 22 and 26 June 1952 a large international conference entitled “Adult Education as a Means to International Understanding” was held in the Salzburg Residenz under the patronage of the Federal President at the time, Theodor Körner. Thus, the “Salzburg Conference” in 1952 not only carried on the work of the conferences of Helsingör in 1947 and Kreuzstein am Mondsee in 1950, but [p. 17] actually turned out to be the seed of the “International Salzburg Talks for Leaders in Adult Education”.

Prototypical for the later “Salzburg Talks” was both the subdivision into working groups as well as the supporting recreation and tourism program to the “Salzburg Conference”. Methodology (foreign languages and travel as a means of international understanding), international organisations, nationalism and internationalism, problems of coexistence from a psychological and sociological perspective as well as the power of art and culture to unite people were discussed in five working groups. Prototypical were also the focus on the personal exchange of practical experiences and the emphasis on personal contacts between participants:18 “We don’t want a congress, but a meeting, an encounter of people, a debate!” – proclaimed the first president of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres, Josef Lehrl, to the conference participants during the opening. And just in this spirit the course of the conference forged the participants from twelve different countries, some of whom already knew each other from previous conferences, into a “circle of friends”.19

There were initially differing opinions on how to prolong and intensify the international contacts and cooperation that had been initiated at the “Salzburg Conference”: One group called for the creation of an international organisation, which was to include the individual national organisations and institutions of adult education. The other group advocated creating an international “circle of friends” of influential figures in adult education in order to avoid the cumbersomeness – as well as the funding problems – of a streamlined organisation. In addition, this kind of circle would also be easier to unite with the existing “Circle of Marly”.

Upon the request of the chairman of the Association of Swiss Adult Education Centres at the time, Hermann Weilenmann, the plenary meeting of the “Salzburg Conference” finally agreed on the idea of creating an international “circle of friends” made up of figures from as many, at the beginning exclusively, European countries as possible, who had the most influence on adult education centres in their respective countries. Its tasks were to assure and expand the international cooperation as well as to solve the practical questions raised during the “Salzburg Conference”. The first managing director of the “circle of friends” was Otto Zwicker. The following members of the [p. 18] “circle of friends” were mentioned by name at the plenary meeting, whereby the “Circle of Marly” was taken into consideration as well as the openness of the circle for new members was emphasised: Paul Rock from Belgium, Hermann Vogts from Germany, Jean Le Veugle and Jean Rovan from France, Helene Malafeka-Pepezza from Greece, Vittorio Santoli and Bruno Pokorny from Italy (the latter from South Tyrol), Bob Schouten and Karel Peters from the Netherlands, Hermann Weilenmann and Karl Fehr from Switzerland and Herbert Grau and Otto Zwicker from Austria. Right after the end of the “Salzburg Conference”, the newly created international “circle of friends”, which was officially called the “Working Group of European Adult Education Centres”, went to work with its first session. On the one hand, the hoped for advantages of international cooperation between people and not institutions were proven: The freedom and flexibility within the group was greater because it was not bound to any government or organisation, while at the same time the members of the group had an influence on the respective national organisations due to their positions within them. On the other hand, the rotation of positions and the decentralisation of the work hampered the efficiency and clout of the group.20


2. Origin and Founding Spirit

Other international meetings and conferences followed the “Salzburg Conference” of 1952, such as the European Regional Seminar of UNESCO in Gardone on Lake Garda in 1953 or the founding seminar of an association of European adult education centres in Münchenwiler in Switzerland in 1954, at which there were delegates from Austria, too. However, the founding of a European “organisation” for adult education and adult education centres fell through due to the high costs, which resulted from covering the long distances and the language/translation problems. On the other hand, these kinds of organisational setbacks heightened the demand for regular meetings to discuss in person and exchange experiences in order to keep one’s own adult education work up-to-date with the state of international discussion.

The desire for European-wide communication seemed to have increased further by the end of the 1950s. The socio-political environment was characterised by a certain enthusiasm for the “Idea of Europe”. In 1958 the “Treaties of Rome” came into effect. It was the year of the founding of the “European Economic Community” (EEC) and the European Parliament. As a symbolic breaking down of borders in (Western) Europe, French [p. 19] and German youths burned down the boundary posts of their countries. Many adult educators were also committed to the idea of a united Europe. Thus, the need grew for an organised international exchange of experiences and ideas by means of personal contacts. After Austria was declared a suitable venue for this, the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres took the initiative and began to organise the “First Salzburg Talks for Leaders in Adult Education” in 1958.21 Herbert Grau was in charge of the specific organisation. On the one hand, he was guided by the idea of an international “circle of friends”, and, on the other, wanted to learn from the mistakes and shortcomings of previous conferences: “After many of the previous international meetings, the participants had a certain feeling of dissatisfaction, which may be traced back to the following reasons: 1. The agenda was too packed and there wasn’t enough time left for personal talks and contacts. [...] 2. There was too much discussion due to the desire to reach an agreement between the participants who were coming from very different backgrounds, which in the end, after all the abstraction, only resulted in self-evident truths. 3. The representative events took up too much time; thus, some of the participants felt that they were official delegates of their country or organisation and thus constrained.”22

Grau didn’t plan a conference with a specific topic. The contributions were to arise from the proposals of the participants themselves. The agenda resulting from this included personal reports on new and important ideas as well as positive and negative experiences in adult education. The invitations were sent personally to renowned adult educators. Every speaker was to submit a written excerpt of their talk in advance so it could be translated. Finally, from 1 to 3 August 1958, 39 functionaries respectively principals of adult education from Denmark, Germany, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, South Tyrol, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria got together at the venue of the conference, the “Haus Rif” Conference and Seminar Centre (just Haus Rif from 1985 on)23 of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres in Salzburg, which was to be the venue of the “Salzburg Talks” until 1992.24 It was planned [p. 20] that the individual speakers would only offer inspiration for the following discussion and were not to give an exhaustive treatment of the topic. Also, the contributions were not to be thrashed out in the plenum. Instead, the breaks and the free afternoons and evenings afforded the opportunity to discuss with the speakers both in groups as well as in dialogues. Not wanting to give the participants an unwelcome surprise or disappoint them with this conference concept, they were informed about this new kind of conference in advance.25 The Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres hoped, as Herbert Grau expressed it in his closing talk of the 2nd “Salzburg Talks”, “that these ‘talks among principals’ represent a real and effective contribution to the growth of adult education in the different countries. It [the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres; editor’s note] gladly provides funds for this event, because in this way it can express a part of its gratitude to all the other countries it owes for helping Austrian adult education when Austria was still poor.”26


3. Methods and Course of Action

Already during the first “Salzburg Talks”, which were to be held annually from now on, a specific style of conference evolved which would remain in the following years. Looking back Herbert Grau summed it up in the following way: “At the beginning of each day several speakers would introduce a topic through their own particular experiences and knowledge. Since all the participants were familiar with the issues in adult education, only a few words and sentences were necessary, which in this way were to make an even bigger impact. A collective and open discussion would follow the introductory talks, which were proposed and held by the participants themselves. Great importance was attached to the fact that speakers were not to speak as “delegates”, representing the collective views of countries or organisations, but that they were to speak from their daily practice from person to person, from adult educator to adult educator. Similar concerns and joys would quickly lead to an objective discussion. Questions soon crystallized from the talks and discussions of the week, questions which demanded specific treatment and were of general interest. For further treatment of these issues, open working groups were formed, which would deal intensively with them in the afternoon. However, the participants always found that the open discussions that developed during their free time were particularly valuable. Thus, free time during the “Salzburg Talks” served the constructive purpose of initiating and strengthening personal [p. 21] relationships between colleagues from other countries, of continuing the discussions on questions touched upon in the morning as well as discussions on problems that were not part of the agenda.”27

The Salzburg “talks among principals” thus were not a conference in the traditional sense, but rather an international forum for contacts, ideas and experiences. They also didn’t treat just one single topic, but offered an extensive agenda that arose from the varied work of adult educators of the individual participating countries: “It is necessary [...] to find the right balance between diversity, which could lead to a lack of unity and fragmentation, and inner connection, which mustn’t devolve into some kind of obligation”28, according to Grau. However, after only a few years, the “Salzburg Talks” had not only developed into its own type for Grau: “They are neither a workshop, dedicated to a topic until everyone arrives at the same results, since this is rarely possible on the international level due to the variety of preconditions, nor a conference aspiring to generally binding resolutions, since they do not arise from a particular organisation with delegates and powers. Instead, the ‘Talks’ want to be a forum of experiences. Several conditions are needed for this: 1. People have to come together who have experience and are able to use the suggestions gained at the “Talks”, i.e. principals of adult education. 2. The contributions have to be as specific, brief and – in their combination – multifaceted as possible. 3. There has to be enough free time so that apart from the official exchange of experiences – with lectures and facilitated discussions – the personal exchange of ideas between participants comes into its own. – Proposals for modifying the generally accepted basic concept were made during the ‘closing talk’”.29

The basic course of action of the “Salzburg Talks” became well-established in the first few years. In the morning between 9:30 and 12:30 the participants gave short reports of approx. 15 minutes on their experiences in adult education as well as on new ideas. These contributions were grouped together according to topics so that after several contributions a discussion could round off the respective viewpoints. The afternoons and evenings were left free so the participants had the opportunity to talk with the participants who gave reports about the individual questions that interested them in small groups and in an open form. Although simultaneous interpretation (the languages of the conference were German, English and French) was soon made possible, great importance was attached to the fact that the participants had to be proficient in at least two of the conference languages, [p. 22] so that an exchange could also take place outside of the “organized” talks.30 The communicative and discursive structure of the “Salzburg Talks” thus ran on four levels: The first level were the reports with more or less official statements of the representatives of individual nations and organisations. On the second level, the plenary discussions complemented the reports on the first level that introduced the issue. These could either be official and prepared or spontaneous and personal. On the third level, different working groups struggled to come up with a solution to the specific problem: Laying one’s cards on the table was considered to be one of the “lessons of the conference”. The fourth level were the personal talks during the participants’ free time, in small groups or pairs, which often resulted in the most intense and personally lasting impact. From the “dramatic” point of view, the ball had to get rolling in the “lower” three levels before it could really work on the “fourth level”, according to Herbert Grau in his final assessment of the 7th “Salzburg Talks”.31 Of course, not everything can be planned down to the last detail for these kinds of meetings. Improvisation on site was needed to a significant extent. However, the markedly free and relaxed style, and the open and casual atmosphere of the conference seemed to promote a “real struggle to solve common problems together” all the more.32

In 1963, the 6th “Salzburg Talks” were organised a bit more tightly than previous conferences had been. A general topic was proposed for each day. On the other hand, limiting the number of talks and the time allotted for each talk opened up more room for open discussions. The tasks of the working groups in the afternoons of the second half of the week evolved from the topics covered during the general discussions.33

Despite basically sticking to the style that had been accepted for years, the “9th Salzburg Talks” in 1966 differed from previous ones in certain ways: The first two days were devoted to just one main topic and not two different topics. Also, the topics of the last two days – television and programmed teaching – complemented each other. In addition, adult educators from the USA also took part on the last two days. This thus broke with the tradition that participation in the “Salzburg Talks” involved participating in the whole week. One whole evening was devoted to open discussions with the overseas guests.34

[p. 23] Since the introductory lectures of the early “Talks” were difficult to coordinate, a panel discussion was chosen to introduce the respective topic of the conference starting with the 10th “Salzburg Talks” in 1967.35 In the preparatory discussions on the evening before, the individual contributions of the participants were to be organized alongside the introductory panel discussion and a common issue and a clear roadmap for the discussion were to be worked out. These were then conveyed to all the other participants by means of a short introductory talk. The general discussion was dedicated to more in-depth treatment of individual problems. In this way, the coordination of the content could be improved and it allowed more freedom in the choice of methods.36

In the course of the first few years, it turned out that the presentation of specific best practice cases were often some of the most valuable inspirations for the educational work of colleagues from other nations:37 “Thus, the results of the ‘Salzburg Talks” cannot be measured during the “Talks” nor right after they are over, but only when they are realised in the different countries and in many different ways. Participants are always saying that an idea that didn’t seem so important to the others turned out having the greatest impact later on”,38 according to Grau.

On 20 September 1973, the initiator, innovator, director and keeper of the minutes of the “Salzburg Talks”, Herbert Grau, passed away after a serious illness. He could just finish the minutes of the 16th “Talks” in between several hospital stays. The “Salzburg Talks” were so closely connected to Herbert Grau that his death could have meant the end of the “Talks”. However, they had evolved into such an internationally recognised institution over the last 16 years that the board of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres decided to press ahead with the “Salzburg Talks”.39 Therefore, a management team was set up, which changed over the years: The 17th “Salzburg Talks” in 1974 were organised by Karl R. Stadler and Wolfgang Speiser. A year later Karl Arnold – at this time, the General Secretary of the Association of Austrian Adult Education – joined the managing board. The first woman Ursula Knittler-Lux – at the time, the director of the Educational Work Unit of the Association of Austrian Adult Education – joined the management team for the 23rd “Salzburg Talks” in 1980. Starting with the 26th “Salzburg Talks” in 1983 Karl Foltinek – former director of the Municipal Department of Education and Extracurricular Youth Services (MA 13) – [p. 24] was responsible for organising the event along with Karl R. Stadler and Ursula Knittler-Lux. Erich Leichtenmüller, Herbert Grau’s successor as director of the Linz Adult Education Centre, joined the management team for the 30th “Salzburg Talks” in 1987. The 33rd “Salzburg Talks” in 1990 were organised by Karl Foltinek, Ursula Knittler-Lux, Erich Leichtenmüller and – new – Ewald Presker, at the time, pedagogical director of the Styrian Adult Education Centre and director of the grammar school for employed persons. Hubert Hummer – the new director of the Linz Adult Education – joined the managing board for the 36th “Salzburg Talks” in 1993. Anneliese Heilinger – at the time, the pedagogical consultant of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres – was added for the 37th “Salzburg Talks” in 1994. Thus, the seasoned management team of the following years consisted of Anneliese Heilinger, Hubert Hummer and Ewald Presker, plus Peter Wirth – at this time, director of the Specialist Unit for Continuing Education of the Department for Continuing Education of the Canton of St. Gallen – starting with the 46th “Salzburg Talks” in 2003 and rounded off by Stefan Vater – pedagogical consultant of the Association of Austrian Adult Education – since the 49th “Salzburg Talks” in 2006.

In the course of the 1980s, the content of the conference agenda was successively condensed. This led to a situation in which the convivial and informal evenings were eclipsed by the country reports and evening discussions, which was primarily deplored by the older “circle of friends”.40 Starting with the 25th “Salzburg Talks” in 1982 guest speakers were regularly invited. Thus, the former director of the Burgtheater, Ernst Haeussermann, the former president of the Salzburg Festival, Albert Moser, the former provincial director of the Austrian Broadcasting Company, Friedrich Urban, the former Ministers of Education, Herbert Moritz and Hilde Hawlicek as well as Univ.-Prof. Rupert Riedl were invited to “Haus Rif”. The guest speakers animated and broadened the discussion. But since they weren’t always in line with the general topic of the “Talks”, it was decided in 1989 to set the talks of the guest speakers at the top of the agenda. The remarks of the prominent guests on the general topic of the week were followed by the remarks in the plenum and discussions in the working groups.41 The greater number of participants at the end of the 1980s by an average of more than 50 persons resulted in the majority of the talks and statements as well as a part of the discussion being moved to the working groups. The country reports remained part of the evening event. This was the only way to include all the contributions in the agenda of the conference.42

A topographical/spatial change took place in 1993. The “Gastagwirt” in Eugendorf was chosen as the new venue of the conference. The farewell from “Rief”, “which was made easier due to some defects of the building,” [p. 25] went off without a hitch. The often mentioned “Spirit of Haus Rief” moved to Eugendorf without further ado.43


4. Encounters between “West” and “East”

In the first years, the international exchange on topics of adult education mainly took place between the German-speaking and Scandinavian theoreticians and practitioners. Delegates from the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, France and Italy joined them. The convivial meetings and excursions to Salzburg, to the Fuschl castle hotel, the fireside chats in the hall of “Haus Rief” as well as the love of song of the Dutch helped the adult educators to quickly form a close bond.44 The British adult educators were impressive not only due to their famous dry sense of humour, their generosity and their realism. It was a British representative, Ross Douglas Waller – at this time, director of the Extra-Mural Department of the University of Manchester – who reminded the participants not to forget the “other Europe” and prompted them to invite Eastern European and Soviet colleagues the next time. Neutral Austria provided the opportunity to rise above contrary world views and get to know the adult educational work of Eastern Europe. The Austrian organisers took immediate action on this suggestion. An Austrian delegation had already been invited to the former USSR in 1957 to study Soviet adult education. In addition, Wolfgang Speiser and Ross Waller travelled to the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and the capital Belgrade to establish contacts. On account of this, there were already participants from Yugoslavia and Poland at the 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959. Adult education organisations from the USA began to get interested in the “Talks”, and in the meanwhile they were not completely unknown in the USSR.45 Finally, the 3rd “Salzburg Talks” had the privilege of welcoming Ivan I. Artobolevskij – at this time, director of the Laboratory of the Institute for Mechanical Engineering of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and president of the Russian Society for the Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge (“Znanije”) – besides the participants from the former Yugoslavia and Poland as further representatives of the “other Europe” behind the “Iron Curtain”:46 “West and East, despite all the differences, soon got together over the common practical problems; the [p. 26] personal atmosphere, the lack of delegation considerations allowed West and East to not only open up about the advantages of their own systems, but also to talk about the problems”,47 according to Grau.

Besides representatives from the former Soviet Union, Poland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, there were representatives from the USA and even Ceylon at the 4th “Salzburg Talks” in 1961.48 Participants from the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary took part for the first time at the 6th “Salzburg Talks” in 1963.49 A lively exchange soon developed, especially with the Czechoslovakian colleagues: Wolfgang Speiser travelled to Brno, Bratislava and Prague. It was the days of high spirits about the reform course of Alexander Dubček. The shock about the suppression of the “Prague Spring” in August 1968 was thus all the greater.50 The exchange with the USA also provided significant theoretical and practical inspiration in the 1960s. Guided by Wolfgang Speiser, a delegation of about 20 Austrian adult educators toured adult education institutions in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Boston and Syracuse.51

The success of the early years not only suggested that they should continue, but that the “Salzburg Talks” should be expanded into a permanent, primarily European, but increasingly internationally oriented institution. The Austrian UNESCO Commission had been the patron of the “Salzburg Talks” since 1961:52 “Three circumstances make the ‘Salzburg Talks’ especially important: adult education is playing an increasingly significant role in the education for international understanding and for humane and civil conduct; the person-to-person discussion without consideration of the ‘organisational’ background helps to solve many things; and Austria has a special role to play as a neutral country between West and East”,53 according to Grau in 1959. And Grau once again: “There is no ‘Iron Curtain’, at least not at the Salzburg Talks. Adult educators in particular have to provide a living example of healthy internationalism with complete openness and adherence to principles while at the same time objectively recognising the commonalities and differences. The feeling of serving a great purpose, educating their fellow man, but at the same time not being recognised or paid adequately for this unites the adult educators of all countries. The personal strength arising from the awareness that there are similar pioneers in other countries is of great importance for each individual as well as adult education in general.”54

[p. 27] Although there were, of course, commonalities in some areas of adult education work in “West” and “East” as well as partly comparable conditions and challenges (demographic developments, industrialisation, rural exodus, new technological challenges, questions of educational work for “those distanced from education” etc.), the “adherence to principles” mentioned by Herbert Grau has to be examined more closely. In contrast to adult education in the “West”, which generally accepted different philosophies of life and saw its task in encouraging people to find their own way in life, the adult education in the “East” was mainly “training” on the basis of the communistic/socialistic worldview. In the “Ostländer” (“Eastern countries”) – as the countries behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ were sometimes referred to in the minutes – all the educational work, while of course differing from country to country, always had a political/ideological character. For instance, participation in the so-called “home rule” was the main goal of all educational work for the Yugoslavian representatives of the late 1950s and 1960s.55

Despite the ideological obstacles and barriers, the significance of the “Salzburg Talks” cannot be overestimated as an international platform for international understanding and the exchange between adult educators. The literal “broadening of horizons” cannot be underestimated, especially for the Austrian organisers and participants: “Even when these principal talks have become a tradition in Austria, the Austrian adult educators are the ones who profit the most from the many suggestions from other countries,”56 according to Grau in the mid-1960s.

The international changes at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s and the fall of the “Iron Curtain” did not detract from the international importance and acceptance of the “Salzburg Talks”. On the contrary, people seemed even more interested in an exchange of experience and views between “West” and “East” in the face of the changed political reality.57 Thus, there was great interest in the reform policies in the Soviet Union and the role of adult education in this transformation at the 30th “Salzburg Talks” in 1987:58 “Everyone will remember the ‘Perestroika discussions’ with the Soviet colleagues during Gorbachev’s period or the discussions of the prospects and problems of reunification for a long time,”59 said Erich Leichtenmüller looking back.

[p. 28] “Europe is more than the EC”, the title of the 34th “Salzburg Talks” in 1991, indicated both the problem of an increased economisation and privatisation of adult education in Western Europe – above all in Great Britain – as well as the changed socio-political and educational constellation in the reform countries of Central and Eastern Europe.60 In view of the difficult task of the “state socialist heritage” in the minds and imaginations of people as well as the partly considerable financial cutbacks, disillusionment often followed the initial spirit of optimism in these countries. The German reunification process played a special role in this. During the course of this process, the money that had been invested in East Germany since the mid-1990s had apparently come at the expense of West German adult education.61

In Russia, the transformation towards a market economy after the collapse of communism led to a significant reduction in free education and to an increase in the number of fee-based educational institutions. The phasing out of institutions of general adult education was accompanied by the growth of institutions of continuing vocational training.62 In view of the lack of conceptual and legal foundations, the lack of state funding and the often unstable organisational structures, the “customer orientation” of Russian adult education was nearly characterised as a “dictatorship” at the 45th “Salzburg Talks” in 2002.63

With the rapid economic and social changes of the last few years and decades, the “Far East” became the centre of attention of the 45th “Salzburg Talks” in 2002: Adult educators from China told about the opening and reform policy in their country and about the pivotal role that mainly in-firm training and continuing education play. However, the main goal of Chinese adult education is still the elimination of the high levels of illiteracy in the countryside. The political leaders of China anyway seem convinced that the economic progress of their country can only be achieved by promoting science and technology. Collaborative learning and distance learning play a significant role in this regard. Thus, the 10th “5-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development” is committed to promoting adult and continuing education. The goal is to establish a system of lifelong learning in China which is open to all citizens.64 [p. 29]


5. Target Group Definition and Targeting


The history of the “Salzburg Talks” reflects the development of the changing target group definition and targeting in adult education: The 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959 and the 4th “Salzburg Talks” in 1961 were at first characterised by attempts to attract young people – a generation (at least in Germany) that Helmut Schelsky called the “sceptical generation” in the shadow of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. In light of the numerous young people participating in adult education in many Western European countries, the focus was on questions concerning the education of young people in youth clubs, weekend seminars, working groups and primary boarding schools as well as turning them into democratic and responsible people.65 Thirty years later, youth education and youth work had adopted a completely different tone: Against the background of persistently high youth unemployment in Europe, the multi-media education of young people was promoted with funding from the EU in different Western European countries at the end of the 1990s.66

Getting elderly people interested in adult education had already been a topic since the 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959. In the face of the ageing of the population in Western and Eastern European countries, adult education was confronted with new socio-political tasks and challenges. Special programs and educational offers for the elderly had to be developed and realised that took the changed forms of living and learning of the elderly into consideration.67

In view of the relatively low level of urbanisation in different Western and Central European regions at the time, providing the rural population with adult education offers was a bigger topic in the 1950s and 1960s than it is today. At the 3rd “Salzburg Talks” in 1960, a topic of discussion was the difficulty of finding instructors for courses in remote regions although there were enough interested participants. Zeeland in the Netherlands was just as familiar with these problems as large parts of Finland. “Adult education on wheels” was put into practice in Austria as well as various cities of the USSR to transport exhibitions, books and projection equipment as well as the instructors and speakers themselves to their audiences in outlying areas.68

At the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, the working class was focused on and problematized as a target group of adult education [p. 30]. At the 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959, projects on workers’ education in the textile industry in the Netherlands were presented as well as the Yugoslavian workers’ universities, which were characterised by the intended “workers’ self-management”. In addition, the similarities and special features of the work of “Peuple et Culture” in France and the “Lebensschule” (School of Life) in Vienna were discussed, both of which focused on blue and white-collar workers.69 The 3rd “Salzburg Talks” in 1960 were devoted to the workers’ education at the Workers’ Institute in Tampere in Finland, where workers’ education was considered to be a significant factor for democracy in society.70 In the former USSR, on the other hand, there was a spectacular approach to getting rural workers interested in adult education: People drove to the fields and played music to gain their attention. The resulting questions and conversations were an opportunity to give a talk and to distribute reading material to the bystanders.71 At the 4th “Salzburg Talks” in 1961, the low participation of blue-collar workers – in comparison to that of white-collar workers – in the educational offers of adult education was discussed. This finding applied to British adult education as well as to „Arbeit und Leben“ (“Work and Life”), a cooperation of trade unions and adult education centres in the Federal Republic of Germany. It was mainly the middle class that came to the new centres of adult education here and there. The increasing power of the trade unions as a result of the nationalisation of the coal mining industry at the end of the 1950s opened up more opportunities for further education – even on the academic level – for the workers of the coal mining regions in the Midlands. That companies granted their workers time off for general education courses, like they did in England, was practically inconceivable in Germany and Austria. Of course, the workers mainly participated in vocational and professional courses and not general education ones. Since general education didn’t result in higher salaries, there was less demand for it.72

At the end of the 1950s, the reconstruction after the Second World War was practically finished in many Western European countries. The development went from the shortage society in the immediate post-war period up to the mass consumption society of the 1960s. As a result, adult education discovered a new target group: consumers. On account of the way and scope of their consumption, they became a “culturally determining factor”. Thus, in the “age of the consumer society”, “consumer education” had to be considered one of the tasks of adult education. According to the tenor of the 5th “Salzburg Talks” in 1962, this had to begin at school, had to continue in the [p. 31] “housewife education” and extend from educating people in taste to consulting them on how to live and eat right up to educating people in the “right” (high) culture. Educating people in “reasonable frugality” was also included as well as telling people about the dangers of consuming on credit.73

The 10th “Salzburg Talks” in 1967 was particularly devoted to the largest target group of adult education, women. On the one hand, women made up the majority of participants of adult education centres, and, on the other, were grossly underrepresented in management positions of adult education. As traditional masculine roles began to totter and new family structures developed at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s in the wake of changing gender roles as a result of women striving for more freedom and self-realisation, their preference for studies in philosophy, languages and the humanities and their reluctance towards technical subjects was evident as the secondary schools and universities began to open up. Thus, adult education had to face the question of how to deal with this.74 In view of the changed economic and social conditions of the late 1970s and the beginning 1980s, the 23rd “Salzburg Talks” in 1980 once again raised the issue of the situation of women in education. Owing to the economic crisis in Western Europe, women were increasingly forced to stay home to make room for men on the labour market. It is true that there had been a considerable increase in the number of female students since the 1950s, but there was still a great gender-specific imbalance between traditional female and male studies and the resulting salary gap on the labour market. The role models traditionally attributed to men and the traditional role behaviour of men – above all in the household – were still considered to be tenacious; chances on the labour market were assessed in a highly selective and gender-specific way. The typical image of an unemployed person was an unskilled woman in her mid-20s. And yet, only those women who already had a better education attended special courses for women. Middle class and blue collar women, who had adapted to their roles, as well as women farmers, were difficult to approach. In addition, the discrimination of women not only differed in terms of class and education, but also varied widely from region to region. Despite all the economic and social obstacles, people were convinced that both women and men would profit from the loosening of the gender role constraints.75 20 years later – at the 43rd “Salzburg Talks” in 2000 – the overall picture of the position of women in society seemed at first glance to have hardly changed at all. Granted, there was a wider variety of [p. 32] opportunities: In the meantime, more women had managed to make it to the management level in adult education centres. In general, the educational level of women has continued to increase. And yet, few women still participated in vocational and professional courses. The gender-specific role relations and expectations as well as the (in)compatibility of career and family apparently remained a decade-long recurring topic, mainly because progress on this issue could only be made gradually and very slowly.76

In the phase at the end of the 1960s and early 1970s characterised by the slogans “emancipation” and “equal opportunities”, the interest of adult education was focused on attracting economically and socially disadvantaged groups on the margins of society. But what were these marginalised groups? Unemployed people, migrant workers, national minorities, ex-convicts, retired people, young mothers or even the whole rural population? When 90 percent of the people in Western Europe were not involved with adult education, then, from an educational point of view, couldn’t we say that 90 percent of the people were marginalised people, who had to be attracted by offers specifically directed at the different target groups, or so the thinking went.77 Attracting and caring for mentally and physically handicapped people, leading people out of their social isolation as well as their vocational rehabilitation and social integration were major topics of the 22nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1979.78 Since the 1990s, refugees and immigrants have become part of the target group of adult education all across Europe. The “foreigner debate” heated up the discussion on the “multi-cultural society”, which was the topic of the 35th “Salzburg Talks” in 1992. The First President of the Austrian Parliament and President of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres at the time, Heinz Fischer, called for systematic and shared action on a European level to prevent the migratory movements to and within Europe from becoming an overwhelming problem for the individual societies. In this regard, he was criticised for the policy on foreigners in Austria, which was supported by the social democracy. On the basis of divergent approaches from the necessity of assimilation, on the one hand, and the right to difference, on the other, adult education’s role in breaking down intercultural barriers, in overcoming prejudices as well as in developing programs for multicultural education was discussed. People were convinced that the only way to confront the renewed racism in Europe was with an education initiative. The specific tasks of adult education centres were protecting multiculturalism through awareness raising and education as well as promoting intercultural learning.79 As early as at the 34th “Salzburg Talks” [p. 33] in 1991, the Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Science at the time, Erhard Busek, warned of the danger of Europe becoming a “hodgepodge of civilisation”. He saw the chance to overcome the nationalism of the 19th century in an European regionalism. In light of the previous neglect of education in Europe, he called for an “Europe of education”.80 At the 45th “Salzburg Talks” in 2002, specific examples of educational programs for immigrants in Germany and Denmark were presented and the different problems they faced in disseminating social information, providing practical help to this target group and in creating opportunities for “locals” and “foreigners” to get to know each other were discussed.81 The 49th “Salzburg Talks” in 2006 were also devoted to immigration as a challenge for all of Europe. The contribution of education to integration manifested itself in the growing number of courses for immigrants – mainly language courses – and in the increased development of intercultural skills in the majority society. With the shift of responsibility for language courses for immigrants to the Ministry of the Interior, adult education in several European countries had to abandon part of its central tenet of the voluntary nature of education and was thus degraded to helping the state fulfil its policy on foreigners.82


6. Topics and Trends

A good way to trace the main topics of the “Salzburg Talks” is to look at the developments and trends in Austrian and international adult education over the last 50 years.

The main topics of the 1st “Salzburg Talks” in 1958 were the foundations, methods, forms and content as well as the funding of adult education. They also dealt with the idea of adult education boarding schools (Heimvolkshochschule), the increased leisure time in the industrial society and how it could be used productively, i.e. for education, new methods (e.g. the weekend talks at German adult education centres or the correspondence schools in Norway) and they focused on the increasing importance of television, which was considered to be an opportunity for adult education. As early as 1958, the task and significance of contemporary history as a form of historico-political education were discussed in depth. 83

At the 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959, methods and forms of political educational work in different Western and Northern European countries [p. 34] were discussed. The Germans and Austrians raised the topic of the dilemma – perfectly understandable in view of the historical heritage – of educating people to be critical and wary of the state, on the one hand, and of being materially dependent on it, on the other. But what primarily came to light was how heterogeneous the understanding of the content and practice of “political education” in Europe was at this time: The French representatives understood this to mean dealing with specific problems of coexisting in rural and structurally weak regions. The Swedish representatives described the adult education boarding school as an example and model of democratic society. In Germany, the content and purpose of political education was to win young people over to democracy. The Yugoslavian representatives, on the other hand, thought that the result of political education could be directly measured by the degree of participation in the social and economic “self-administration”.84 The “generation problem” was already on the agenda of the 2nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1959. The tasks, methods and goals of adult education in terms of the education of young people and elderly people were discussed in depth. The cooperation of adult education with the universities was also discussed and the “seminar course” at the University of Göttingen, which had started in 1955/56, was presented as an example of this by its initiator, Willy Strzelewicz. Questions of workers’ education were dealt with from the “Eastern” point of view by the examples of Yugoslavia and Poland and from the “Western” point of view by the examples of the Netherlands and Austria.85

One focus of the 4th “Salzburg Talks” in 1961 was the question of how adult education offerings could interest people in international questions: Experiences with “international clubs”, “international weeks”, lectures, working groups, scholarship programs, study trips and exchange programs – for instance, as part of UNESCO – were discussed. The importance of development aid in terms of economic and educational assistance were emphasised and the role of the teaching of history in the service of international understanding was discussed.86

At the 11th “Salzburg Talks” in 1968, the focus was on the voluntary participation and work of schoolteachers in adult education. In the course of an ever greater need for professional organisation and methodology in adult education, the call for full-time employees was growing louder and louder at this time. In many European countries, the discussion on the education of adult education instructors was characterised on the one hand by the need to attract people to adult education who were already experienced in a profession and, on the other, by the necessity of [p. 35] being able to offer young people their own professional training – for instance, in the form of a special program. The call for separate departments of adult education at universities was considered to be an essential precondition for research on, training for and social acceptance of adult education. At the same time, the prerequisite for a study program in adult education would be a clear occupational profile, which basically didn’t exist at this time. If adult education wished to avoid the danger of “petrification”, it had to continue to look for its next generation of instructors in all walks of life. The discussion on the right mix of inclination, aptitude and education of those working in adult education flared up again at the end of the 1960s and an end was nowhere in sight.87

The 13th “Salzburg Talks” in 1970 were characterised by the idea of “lifelong education”, which besides including professional continuing education was to be developed into a system of “permanent education” (the terms of “Éducation permanente” and even “formation continue” were played with). Several participants mentioned that this idea wasn’t new. At the 10th “Salzburg Talks” in 1967, Herbert Grau had already said for the record: “’Éducation permanente is a product of the times: School, regardless of the level, can no longer prepare children and young people, since the biggest changes in their world take place during their lives after school. Thus, school can only abstractly prepare young people for life, since the future is growing more and more unpredictable. Furthermore, it must consciously undertake the task of educating and encouraging children and young people for voluntary continuing education after school. Preparing people for continuing education is becoming more important than preparing them for life and a particular profession.”88 However, the predominance of vocational considerations in adult education was mainly seen as job security for people. But by doing this a large part of adult education up to now would be excluded from the system. It was the days when the German Education Council substituted the phrase “continuing education” for “adult education” and thus the determining factor was the role and not the individual adult person as it had been up to now. This “continuing education” went beyond school and professional further education and required not only a complete redistribution of the material to be taught, but also a renewal of the whole educational system. As early as 1970, it was evident that the “duty to continue learning” would play a significant role in the lives of adults in the future. Everyone agreed that a “permanent education” required the complete integration of every [p. 36] part of the educational system, including kindergarten. Interests already have to be raised and encouraged at a very young age and resistances to education have to be overcome in families. Adult education has to help in this process of “re-educating” teachers and adults, who determine the attitudes of children, in order to contribute to “re-educating society”. The goal was to integrate the entire educational system, including adult education. For only when there was complete integration could the teaching material be reorganised to different phases of life and the problems that arise from going from the school system to university or adult education be solved.89 The need for “lifelong education” resulted in a greater demand for “educational planning” by the state. Against the socio-political background of the call for “equal opportunities” at the time in many European countries as a contribution to education for democracy, the task falls on the state of also organising structured learning in “continuing education”. At the 14th “Salzburg Talks” in 1971, the political conclusion was drawn that the state would be obliged to set up and maintain well-equipped institutions of adult education with full-time directors. This demand implied the financing and juridification of adult education centres, and not only in terms of pure “maintenance laws”, which would result in the cementation of “imperfect circumstances”, but also within the overall context of social and labour legislation (“leisure time act”, “educational leave” etc.).90 Rudi Rohlmann, at the time acting chairman of the “Hessischen Landesverband für Erwachsenenbildung” (State Association of Adult Education of Hessen), captured the “dialectic” spirit of adult education at the time in the following words: “An idea of educational policy has to take effect in the educational offer: the self-liberation of people without at the same time lowering the individual learning achievement. Self-liberation requires people to recognize their dependencies, learn to put up with changes, see through the changeability of circumstances, foresee the consequences and effects of changes and develop a sensitivity to the juxtaposition of system constraints and practical constraints.”91

The 15th “Salzburg Talks” in 1972 were characterised by the consequences of the student protests in Europe. These protests made it necessary for adult education to determine its position: The task of adult education could not be to take up the “class struggle”, but to provide “facts”, or so it was generally thought. But in the wake of “1968” the position of the “neutral provider of facts” became problematic. The “New Left” – above all in the [p. 37] Federal Republic of Germany – regarded the “providing of facts” by university professors and adult educators as simply partisanship with the establishment. Thus, it was demanded, for instance, that the course instructor reveals her/his intentions for teaching a course. All of this deeply confused the self-image of adult education: Was the point to provide participants with the opportunity to form their own thoughts or to criticise and rise up against the existing system? How much loyalty should the state – from which adult education was ultimately financially dependent – be shown? Wasn’t the essence of adult education to educate people in such a way that they become individuals capable of thinking for themselves, speaking for themselves and of taking responsibility for their own actions?92

Ten years later – at the 26th “Salzburg Talks” in 1983 – it is significant that the “consequences” of “1968” were also, so to speak, discussed as part of the topic “cultural management in adult education”: In the meantime, an urban youth, women’s, alternative and cultural scene had established itself in many places in Europe, in Berlin-Schöneberg, in Kristiania in Denmark, as well as in Vienna – Arena, Amerlinghaus, the “Autonomes Kultur- und Kommunikationszentrum” (“Autonomous Culture and Communication Centre”) in the Gassergasse (“GAGA”), the “Dramatisches Zentrum” (“Dramatic Centre”), “WUK (“Workshop and Culture House”), etc. – which was committed to educational work on its own outside the framework of established adult education. Adult education centres took this as a call for more creativity and democracy. The traditional clientele of adult education centres from the established middle classes was also to be made more receptive to the views and content of the new social movements. The adult education centres still considered themselves to be an institution, which was supposed to raise (political) awareness. “Taking action” had to remain the participant’s matter. Adult education centres faced the difficult question of where to draw the line between “education” and “initiative” in general and the relation between alternative and established adult education in particular.93

Against the background of new citizens’ action groups as well as the loss of trust in the traditional political parties, the 38th “Salzburg Talks” in 1995 raised the question of to what degree adult education could consider itself to be a citizens’ movement, too. Besides the problems of “activist” educational work, the question was also discussed of how much adult education would have to change to be able to still change things in the world today. Adult education was supposed to be a service provider for citizens’ movements and to act as a site for the citizens to assemble as a public. In this way, it was to act as an antithesis to the tendencies of contemporary society towards individualisation and separation, or so it was generally thought.94

[p. 38] Another topic that has been discussed in-depth since the 1980s is the question of “adult education as a profession”. Thus, at the 27th “Salzburg Talks” in 1984, the questions of staff qualifications and the occupational profile of “adult educator” were discussed: It was necessary in periods of consolidation to overcome the unavoidable, yet useful “half education” of the pioneering days as well as the reigning dilettantism. This was thus accompanied by calls to create appropriate full-time positions in every institution and at every level of adult education: in management, in the pedagogical assistance, in the office and subsequently even in the area of course instructors. For the latter, some proof of an educational background in the subject and the willingness to participate in further and continuing education related to adult education were required. In view of the social recognition of adult education in the general public, clear contours were needed for an occupational profile. There were already some trend-setting approaches to this in several countries: For instance, universities in Germany had been offering separate adult education study programs since 1970. In Switzerland, the Academy of Adult Education in Luzern had been offering a cantonal certificate in adult education since 1973. In Great Britain, the Open University had been offering comprehensive educational programs for staff training and education since 1984. A course on management in adult education had also been offered since 1980. Adult education as a subject at Austrian universities was young in comparison: A doctoral program had been offered at the University of Vienna since 1973. There had been a department for adult education in Graz and a department for continuing education at the University of Educational Studies in Klagenfurt since 1974. Together with adult education organisations in Tyrol, the University of Innsbruck had established a separate master’s program. In addition, there were the further and continuing educational offers of the associations of adult education.95

Following on this discussion, professionalism in adult education was discussed again at the 47th “Salzburg Talks” in 2004. In a broad sense, this could be construed as creating the optimal conditions for learning. On the basis of this, questions were raised on how efficient and effective adult education centres had to be to remain sustainable in the future, and what effectiveness and efficiency really mean in the context of education. The demand for professionalism focused on smooth processes of institutional action as well as the reflective implementation of the latest scientific and academic standards. However, this was not principally concerned with professionalization in the sense of securing more personnel resources and funding. In keeping with the “spirit of the age”, fewer resources were to produce more. In parallel with rationalisation measures [p. 39] in business, adult education was to work more and deliver higher quality. Since the 1990s, the “output” of adult and continuing education had to be increased despite staff and funding cuts as part of organisational development and optimisation. The majority of the conference participants, of course, saw “adult education as a profession” as a prerequisite for sustainable adult education work. Without the professionalism of adult education in the sense of securing more personnel resources and funding, adult education would not be able to fulfil its overall educational mission.96


7. Adult Education in a Changed World

The era since the late 1980s and early 1990s has been characterised by a fundamental social transformation. Univ.-Prof. Bernd Marin – former director of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research in Vienna – sketched this out at the 40th “Salzburg Talks” in 1997: The world of work has changed dramatically. Although there has been a general increase in gainful employment, unemployment has at the same time reached the highest point since the world economic crisis in the 1930s. The “traditional” nuclear family is beginning to break up. The intergenerational contract is on shaky ground with respect to pension security. There is an increasing imbalance between “old” and “young” in favour of the latter. There is an unequal distribution of the burdens between the sexes that is growing wider all the time. Women have to do the majority of the unpaid work. In education, lifelong learning has been talked about since the 1960s, but little has come of it since then. For Marin, it would be a good idea to provide people with an extensive education – beginning with elementary cultural techniques up to specialised continuing education – which would allow them to constantly and independently educate themselves. The necessary investments in education would mainly have to come from the state, since private organisations and institutions couldn’t afford to do this due to the 10 to 20-year amortisation. Education – according to Marin – would be such a valuable and expensive good that no one besides the state could or would want to afford it. Marin told the participants to bear in mind that if the state does not invest in lifelong further and continuing education, all that would remain would be short-term and short-sighted – relating to the immediate benefits – as well as corporate investments. Fighting computer, social and economic illiteracy is just as an indispensable goal of education as combating traditional illiteracy, because the increasing inequality within society as well as between the [p. 40] different societies could largely be traced back to differences in education: the wider these are, the greater the social inequality, according to Bernd Marin.97

In view of the general pressure to cut costs and the increased competition on the “education market”, the discussion since the 1990s has revolved around the question of how to position adult education between the two antipodes of the market and the public mandate in a way appropriate to the system. If adult education is a public interest, then it should be worth funding it. But publicly funded adult education has the duty to offer a comprehensive basic program even when it does not “add up”. Thus, participants have to help pay for adult education based on their financial situation – or so it was generally thought at the 37th “Salzburg Talks” in 1994.98

However, since the 1990s, the discussion on education has not only focused on the financial viability and the affordability of learning, but learning itself including “learning to learn”. While learning in the new media worlds of cyberspace and the media skills required to do this were the topic of the 39th “Salzburg Talks” in 1996,99 the 42nd “Salzburg Talks” in 1999 focused on the changed roles of learner and teacher due to the new forms of learning of “tele-learning and e-learning” as well as the underlying question of how the young computer and Internet generation would learn in the future and what challenges this would pose to institutions of adult education.100 The 44th “Salzburg Talks” in 2001 discussed educational institutions as “learning organisations”,101 the 45th “Salzburg Talks” in 2002 “learning regions”, which would be networks made up of the education sector and various sponsoring organisations,102 and the 50th “Salzburg Talks” in 2007 the “analogue” and “virtual” learning environments and learning groups of the future.103

Against the background of information technology and critical socio-economic changes in the “old” EU member states with prolonged high unemployment as well as the effort to improve worldwide competitiveness, on the one hand, and the process of the EU Eastern Enlargement including its economic, social and democratic political challenges, on the other, the interest of education policy for “lifelong learning” grew across Europe. The 48th “Salzburg Talks” in 2005 dealt critically with the unreasonable demands of this lifelong “duty to continue learning” and discussed the freedom of resistance against (continuing) education through reasoned non-participation. When “educated people” are not at the forefront of all the pedagogical efforts in the contemporary discussion on education, but those who are constantly defined as in need of education, then the goal of all [p. 41] learning is learning itself; not the least because the “goal” – an idea of education – would disappear from the reflective horizon of pedagogical practice. However, although lifelong learning only seems to end with one’s own physical death, it enjoys high acceptance in the general public, because it is seen as a chance to plan and organise life in a way more free and independent of social determinisms.104 This “concept of education” enjoyed renewed attention at the end of the 1990s, not the least due to this discourse on the lifelong learning of persons, organisations and regions: The 41st “Salzburg Talks” in 1998 took up the topic of “cultural education” between the conflicting priorities of general education and economisation. “Cultural education” was to help people develop their cultural and creative potential, enhance their abilities of perception, open up spaces for aesthetic experiences, increase their critical faculties and allow them to take an active part in and shape culture. The key question in this was whether traditional general education – whose main pillar is cultural education – was to be seen as ballast or as the underlying goal of adult education. The French literary scholar Univ.-Prof. Jaques Le Rider emphasised the historical exceptionalness of the German concept of “culture” – in contrast to the French concept of “civilisation” for example – in his introductory talk and in view of the inextricably mixed character of cultures today advocated abandoning the outdated idea of “interculturality” and replacing it with the concept of transculturality: Although this also entails a homogenisation of cultural diversity, cultural education could only be imagined today as critical transculturality.105

And finally, at the 46th “Salzburg Talks” in 2003, the discussion focused on the “educational canon” or which concepts of education would be sensible and up-to-date. Basic cultural techniques like reading, writing, arithmetic as well as foreign language and computer skills were complemented by “key qualifications” such as the ability to communicate, work in a team and deal with conflict, the capability to think systematically, and intercultural skills. It raises the question of what and how much natural scientific knowledge contemporary, educated people need today. Moreover, would an economic, political, social and cultural education as well as an environmental education and an education that promotes gender mainstreaming be an integral part of political awareness raising and a complement to the “classical” humanistic education. Everyone agreed that an educational canon of the future could not be prescribed. It also couldn’t make any claim to completeness. Instead, it must be open to modifications and additions. Only the main important features of an educational canon of the future could be sketched out by means of some examples. In [p. 42] times of greater and more rapid changes, an education for sustainable development, an intercultural education, an education for creative entrepreneurship, an education that encourages people to take the initiative with confidence and be willing to take risks, and an education for dealing with processes of transition and transformation would be needed. However, education was also understood as the ability to ask questions, be curious and muster up the motivation to explore new fields of knowledge. In addition, education was also to be understood as a skill to integrate experiential knowledge. Last but not least, education would also be understood as the social skill to be able to discuss things in a tolerant manner. Even when this topic has revolved around the German term “Bildung” (education) – which cannot really be translated into any other language – in this paper, one could still confidently claim that the “Salzburg Talks” have made an international contribution to (adult) education in the last 50 years.106




NOTES:


1 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dritte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Third Salzburg Discussions For Leaders in Adult Education/Troisièmes discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 31. Juli bis 5. August 1960 in Haus Rief bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 25.
2 Fritz Borinski, Erwachsenenbildung und Völkerverständigung. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule. Sondernummer zum Salzburger Internationalen Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung, 3. Jg., Juni 1952, S. 8.
3 Österreichische Volkshochschule. Sondernummer zum Salzburger Internationalen Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung, 3. Jg., Juni 1952, S. 6.
4 Wolfgang Speiser, Australien – heute, Wien 1950. Wolfgang Speiser, Zeitzeuge. In: Friedrich Stadler (Hrsg.), Vertriebene Vernunft II. Emigration und Exil österreichischer Wissenschaft 1930-1940. Teilband 2, (= Emigration – Exil – Kontinuität. Schriften zur zeitgeschichtlichen Kultur- und Wissenschaftsforschung, Bd. 2), Münster 2004, S. 907 ff. Christian Stifter, Kurzcharakteristik der Quellenlage zu Leben und Werk von Wolfgang Speiser. In: Volker Otto/Erhard Schlutz (Hrsg.), Erwachsenenbildung und Emigration. Biographien und Wirkungen von Emigrantinnen und Emigranten. Dokumentation der 19. Konferenz des Arbeitskreises Historischer Quellen der Erwachsenenbildung Deutschland – Österreich – Schweiz in Naumburg/Saale vom 20. bis 23. Oktober 1999, Bonn 1999, 117 ff, insbesondere 123 ff. Sowie: Christian H. Stifter: „Die Kultur- und Bildungsarbeit der Gegenwart aber formt den Menschen der Zukunft“. Zu Leben und Werk von Wolfgang Speiser (1909-1994). In: Hessische Blätter für Volksbildung. Zeitschrift für Erwachsenenbildung in Deutschland, 56. Jg., 2006, Heft 1, S. 43 ff. See also Online-Bibliography: http://www.adulteducation.at/de/historiografie/personen/106/ (last pageview: 29.1.2010)
5 For biographical facts concerning Karl R. Stadler: Gerhard Botz/Hans Hautmann/Helmut Konrad (Hrsg.), Geschichte und Gesellschaft. Festschrift für Karl R. Stadler zum 60. Geburtstag, Wien 1974, S. 567. Ronny Wilson: Anmerkungen zu Karl Stadler in der englischen Emigration. In: Volker Otto/Erhard Schlutz (Hrsg.), Erwachsenenbildung und Emigration. Biographien und Wirkungen von Emigrantinnen und Emigranten. Dokumentation der 19. Konferenz des Arbeitskreises Historischer Quellen der Erwachsenenbildung Deutschland – Österreich – Schweiz in Naumburg/Saale vom 20. bis 23. Oktober 1999, Bonn 1999, S. 111 ff. See also the Online-Bibliography: http://www.adulteducation.at/de/historiografie/personen/207/ (last pageview: 29.1.2010)
6 Christian H. Stifter, Der Urania-Kulturfilm, die Exotik des Fremden und die Völkerversöhnung. Veränderungen und Kontinuitäten: vom Austrofaschismus, über den Nationalsozialismus zur Zweiten Republik. In: Spurensuche. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Erwachsenenbildung und Wissenschaftspopularisierung, 13. Jg., Heft 1-4, 2002, S. 134 f.
7 General Facts concerning Herbert Grau: Gerhard Aumayr, Wirksamkeit und Andragogik des oberösterreichischen Volksbildners Herbert Grau, Diss. Univ. Salzburg 1988. See also the Online-Bibliography: http://www.adulteducation.at/de/historiografie/personen/61/ (last pageview: 29.1.2010)
8 Biographical facts concerning Herbert Grau during the National Socialist tyranny: Thomas Dostal, „Die Menschen haben unaufhörlich zu lernen...“ Zur Geschichte des Verbandes Oberösterreichischer Volkshochschulen. In: Hubert Hummer/Günter Kalliauer (Hrsg.), 50 Jahre Verband Oberösterreichischer Volkshochschulen, Linz 2006, S. 26 f and also note 33 on p. 109 f.
9 Christian H. Stifter, Der Urania-Kulturfilm, die Exotik des Fremden und die Völkerversöhnung. Veränderungen und Kontinuitäten: vom Austrofaschismus, über den Nationalsozialismus zur Zweiten Republik. In: Spurensuche. Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Erwachsenenbildung und Wissenschaftspopularisierung, 13. Jg., Heft 1-4, 2002, 134.
10 Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 13 f. Personal Report on the Mondsee-Seminar of UNESCO on Methods and Techniques of Adult Education, June – July 1950. Bericht von Herbert Grau. Linz 10th September 1950. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2.
11 Mappe Marly-le-Roi. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2.
12 Die Österreichische Volkshochschule. Sondernummer zum Salzburger Internationalen Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung, 3. Jg., Juni 1952, S. 1.
13 Tagung des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen. Undatiertes Typoskript. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2.
14 Mappe Marly-le-Roi. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2.
15 Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 14 f.
16 Ibid., S. 15.
17 Ibid., S. 15 f.
18 Internationales Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung Salzburg, Residenz. Tagungszeitung Nr. 2 vom 24.6.1952. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2. Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 16. Wolfgang Speiser, Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung – ein langer Blick zurück. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III: 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 600.
19 Internationales Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung Salzburg, Residenz. Tagungszeitung Nr. 2 vom 24. Juni 1952. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2.
20 Wege und Mittel der Erwachsenenbildung zur Völkerverständigung. Internationales Treffen für Erwachsenenbildung in Salzburg. 22. – 26. Juni 1952. Adult education’s ways and means to international understandig. International meeting for adult education at Salzburg. Juni 22nd – 26th 1952. Bericht verfasst von Herbert Grau, Linz/Salzburg Oktober 1952. In: Österreichisches Volkshochschularchiv, Bestand Nachlass Herbert Grau, Box 2. Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 89.
21 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1.
22 Herbert Grau, Europäische Erwachsenenbildung. Bericht über die ersten Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung 1958 im Haus Rief. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, Nr. 31, Dezember 1958, S. 10. Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 89.
23 In the course of the contract negotiations for establishing a Rif University and Provincial Sport Centre, the original name “Haus Rief” hade to be changed to “Rif” on account of how it was entered into the land register. Vgl.: Helmut Uitz, Sportzentrum Rif – Und was bleibt für die Volkshochschule? In: Wilhelm Filla/Erich Leichtenmüller/Aladar Pfniß (Hrsg.), Bildung für alle. Festschrift 35 Jahre Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Baden 1985, 69-74.
24 Herbert Grau, Europäische Erwachsenenbildung. Bericht über die ersten Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung 1958 im Haus Rief. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, Nr. 31, Dezember 1958, S. 10 f.
25 Herbert Grau, Europäische Erwachsenenbildung. Bericht über die ersten Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung 1958 im Haus Rief. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, Nr. 31, Dezember 1958, S. 10. Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 90.
26 Herbert Grau in der Schlussaussprache der Zweiten Salzburger Gespräche. In: Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 24.
27 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Fünfte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fifth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Cinquièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de L’Éducation des Adultes. 29. Juli bis 4. August 1962 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1.
28 Ibid.
29 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dritte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Third Salzburg Discussions For Leaders in Adult Education/Troisièmes discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 31. Juli bis 5. August 1960 in Haus Rief bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., Einleitung Herbert Grau.
30 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1 f.
31 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Siebente Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Seventh Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Septièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 28. Juli bis 1. August 1964 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 32.
32 Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 90 f.
33 Ibid., S. 91.
34 Ibid., S. 92.
35 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Tenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Dixièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 23. bis 29. Juli 1967 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., Vorwort Herbert Grau.
36 Wolfgang Speiser, Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 92.
37
Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 24.
38 Wolfgang Speiser: Ein Leben für die Erwachsenenbildung. Aus den Schriften von Herbert Grau zur Theorie und Praxis der Erwachsenenbildung (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 4), Graz/Wien 1976, S. 91.
39 Erich Leichtenmüller, Demokratie ist Diskussion. Die internationalen „Salzburger Gespräche“, eine besondere Form von demokratischer Bildungsarbeit. In: Kurt Aufderklamm/Wilhelm Filla/Erich Leichtenmüller/Judita Löderer (Hrsg.), Demokratische Bildung. Realität und Anspruch (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 10), Wien 1996, S. 123.
40 Ibid., S. 129.
41 Ibid., S. 134.
42 Ibid., S. 135.
43 Ibid., S. 124.
44 Wolfgang Speiser, Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung – ein langer Blick zurück. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 602.
45 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1.
46 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dritte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Third Salzburg Discussions For Leaders in Adult Education/Troisièmes discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 31. Juli bis 5. August 1960 in Haus Rief bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 2. Wolfgang Speiser, Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung – ein langer Blick zurück. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 601.
47 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1.
48 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vierte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fourth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Quatrième discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 23. bis 29. Juli 1916 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1 ff.
49 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Sechste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Sixth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Sixièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 28. Juli bis 3. August 1963 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1 ff.
50 Wolfgang Speiser, Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung – ein langer Blick zurück. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 602 f.
51 Ibid., S. 603.
52 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1.
53 Ibid.
54 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Siebente Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Seventh Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Septièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 28. Juli bis 1. August 1964 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 32.
55 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 22 f.
56 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Siebente Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Seventh Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Septièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 28. Juli bis 1. August 1964 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., Herbert Grau.
57 Erich Leichtenmüller, Demokratie ist Diskussion. Die internationalen „Salzburger Gespräche“, eine besondere Form von demokratischer Bildungsarbeit. In: Kurt Aufderklamm/Wilhelm Filla/Erich Leichtenmüller/Judita Löderer (Hrsg.), Demokratische Bildung. Realität und Anspruch (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 10), Wien 1996, S. 124.
58 Gerhard Bisovsky, Erwachsenenbildung und Gesellschaft. Mitbestimmung und Partizipation in Gegenwart und Zukunft. 30. „Salzburger Gespräche“ – Ein Seminarbericht. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 39. Jg., Heft 147, März 1988, S. 22 ff.
59 Erich Leichtenmüller, Demokratie ist Diskussion. Die internationalen „Salzburger Gespräche“, eine besondere Form von demokratischer Bildungsarbeit. In: Kurt Aufderklamm/Wilhelm Filla/Erich Leichtenmüller/Judita Löderer (Hrsg.), Demokratische Bildung. Realität und Anspruch (= Schriftenreihe des Verbandes Österreichischer Volkshochschulen, Bd. 10), Wien 1996, S. 129.
60 Robert Streibel, Europa ist mehr als die EG. 34. internationale „Salzburger Gespräche“. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 43. Jg., Heft 164, Juni 1992, S. 14 ff.
61 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Erwachsenenbildung als Bürgerbewegung? Dokumentation der 38. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 16. bis 22. Juli 1995 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Sabine Aschauer-Smolik, Wien 1996, S. 14 ff.
62 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der 42. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 11. bis 17. Juli 1999 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Karin Kalkbrenner, Wien 2000, S. 25.
63 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Grenzen überschreiten – Netze bilden. Nutzen und Kosten für die Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der 45. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 7. bis 12. Juli 2002 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Andrea Egger-Riedmüller, Wien 2003, S. 44 f.
64 Ibid., S. 48 ff.
65 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 3 ff. Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vierte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fourth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Quatrième discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 23. bis 29. Juli 1916 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 15.
66 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der 42. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 11. bis 17. Juli 1999 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Karin Kalkbrenner, Wien 2000, S. 29.
67 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 4. Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Achtzehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Eighteenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Dix-huitièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 27. Juli bis 2. August 1975 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Wolfgang Speiser. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 498 ff. Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Einundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Twenty-first Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Vingt-unièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 30. Juli bis 5. August 1978 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Karl Arnold. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 535 ff. Sowie: Fünfundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 1. bis 7. August 1982 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Karl Arnold und Norbert Fahnl. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 607 ff.
68 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dritte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Third Salzburg Discussions For Leaders in Adult Education/Troisièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. Vom 31. Juli bis 5. August 1960 in Haus Rief bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 15 ff.
69 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 20 f.
70 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dritte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Third Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Troisièmes discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 31. Juli bis 5. August 1960 in Haus Rief bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 9.
71 Ibid., S. 21.
72 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vierte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Fourth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education. Quatrième discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 23. bis 29. Juli 1961 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 7 ff.
73 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Fünfte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fifth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Cinquièmes Discussions des Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 29. Juli bis 4. August 1962 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 11.
74 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Tenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Dixièmes Discussions de Salzbourg de Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 23. bis 29. Juli 1967 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 24 ff.
75 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dreiundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Twenty-third Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Vingt-troisièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 27. Juli bis 2. August 1980 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Karl Arnold und Norbert Fahnl. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 574 ff.
76 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der 43. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 8. bis 13. Juli 2000 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Christian Muckenhuber, Wien 2001, S. 13 ff.
77 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vierzehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fourteenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Quatorzièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 25. Juli bis 31. Juli 1971 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 416 ff.
78 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweiundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Twenty-second Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Vingt-deuxièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 29. Juli bis 4. August 1979 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Karl Arnold und Norbert Fahnl. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 561 ff.
79 35. „Salzburger Gespräche“ des VÖV. Die multikulturelle Gesellschaft als europäische Herausforderung. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 43. Jg., Heft 165, September 1992, S. 22 ff. Robert Streibel, Die multikulturelle Gesellschaft als Herausforderung. 35. internationale Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 44. Jg., Heft 168, Juni 1993, S. 6 ff.
80 34. „Salzburger Gespräche“ des VÖV. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 42. Jg., Heft 161, September 1991, S. 49.
81 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Grenzen überschreiten – Netze bilden. Nutzen und Kosten für die Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der 45. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 7. bis 12. Juli 2002 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Andrea Egger-Riedmüller, Wien 2003, S. 20 ff.
82 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Migration – kultureller Cocktail versus sozialer Sprengstoff. Aufgaben und Grenzen der Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der 49. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 9. bis 13. Juli 2006 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Peter Zwielehner, Wien 2006, S. 13 ff.
83 Herbert Grau, Europäische Erwachsenenbildung. Bericht über die ersten Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung 1958 im Haus Rief. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, Nr. 31, Dezember 1958, S. 10 ff.
84 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zweite Salzburger Internationale Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1959. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 6 f.
85 Ibid., S. 1 ff.
86 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vierte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fourth Salzburg Discussions for Leaders in Adult Education/Quatrième discussions de Salzbourg des dirigeants de l’éducation des adultes. Vom 23. bis 29. Juli 1916 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 1 ff.
87 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Elfte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Eleventh Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Onzièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 28. Juli bis 3. August 1968 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung von Herbert Grau. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 336 ff.
88 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Zehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Tenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Dixièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 23. bis 29. Juli 1967 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau, Wien o. J., S. 6 f.
89 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Dreizehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Thirteenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Treizièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 26. Juli bis 1. August 1970 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 383 ff.
90 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.). Vierzehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fourteenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Quatorzièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 25. Juli bis 31. Juli 1971 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Herbert Grau. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 427.
91 Ibid., S. 426.
92 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Fünfzehnte Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung/Fifteenth Salzburg Discussions of Leaders in Adult Education/Quinzièmes Discussions de Salzbourg des Dirigeants de l’Éducation des Adultes. 30. Juli bis 5. August 1972 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Wolfgang Speiser. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil II 1967-1976, Wien o. J., S. 437.
93 Sechsundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 24. bis 30. Juli 1983 in Haus Rief. Berichterstattung Norbert Fahnl. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 624 ff.
94 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Erwachsenenbildung als Bürgerbewegung? Dokumentation der 38. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 16. bis 22. Juli 1995 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Sabine Aschauer-Smolik, Wien 1996, S. 1 ff.
95 Siebenundzwanzigste Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. 29. Juli bis 5. August 1984. In: Walter Göhring (Hrsg.), Dokumentation der internationalen Salzburger Gespräche für Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung. Teil III 1977-1985, Wien o. J., S. 638 ff.
96 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Das Richtige richtig tun. Professionalität in der Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der 47. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 11. bis 16. Juli 2004 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Maria Gutknecht-Gmeiner, Wien 2005, S. 12 ff.
97 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Arbeit im Umbruch! Bildung im Wandel? Dokumentation der 40. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 13. bis 19. Juli 1997 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Ulrike Fejer, Wien 1997, S. 7 ff.
98 Annliese Heilinger, Erwachsenenbildung zwischen „Markt“ und „öffentlichem Auftrag“. 37. Salzburger Gespräche 1994. In: Die Österreichische Volkshochschule, 46. Jg., Heft 176, Juni 1995, S. 40 ff.
99 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Bildung „on-line“ – Leben und Lernen in Medienwelten. Dokumentation der 39. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 14. bis 20. Juli 1996 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Sabine Aschauer-Smolik, Wien 1997, S. 10 ff.
100 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Vom Lernen mit und ohne Netz. Dokumentation der 42. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 11. bis 17. Juli 1999 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Karin Kalkbrenner, Wien 2000, S. 6 ff.
101 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Den Wandel bestehen. Bildungseinrichtungen als „lernende Organisation“? Dokumentation der 44. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 8. bis 13. Juli 2001 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Monika Klacsics, Wien 2002, S. 8 ff.
102 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Grenzen überschreiten – Netze bilden. Nutzen und Kosten für die Erwachsenenbildung. Dokumentation der 45. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 7. bis 12. Juli 2002 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Andrea Egger-Riedmüller, Wien 2003, S. 65 ff.
103 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Lernorte der Zukunft. Dokumentation der 50. Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung vom 8. bis 13. Juli 2007 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Peter Zwielehner, Wien 2008, S. 8 ff.
104 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Erwachsenenbildung – eine Zumutung? Kritische Zugänge zum lebenslangen Lernen. Dokumentation der 48. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 10. bis 14. Juli 2005 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Karoline Rumpfhuber, Wien 2005, S. 13 ff.
105 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), KULTURelle Bildung – BildungsKULTUR. Dokumentation der 41. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 12. bis 18. Juli 1998 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Christian Muckenhuber, Wien 1999, S. 3 ff.
106 Verband Österreichischer Volkshochschulen (Hrsg.), Ein Bildungskanon für morgen. Was wir in Zukunft wissen und können müssen. Dokumentation der 46. „Salzburger Gespräche für Leiterinnen und Leiter in der Erwachsenenbildung“ vom 6. bis 11. Juli 2003 in Eugendorf bei Salzburg. Berichterstattung Kathrin Strobl, Wien 2003, S. 8 ff und S. 44 ff.


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