Emil Păun and Anca Nedelcu

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In today’s world, adult education has started to play a more and more significant role, becoming an important tool of modernizing, adding or upgrading knowledge and skills. In this context, it is obvious that the specific aims and status of adult education institutions (AEI) are continuously under an unavoidable process of adaptation, which determines, as a consequence, further changes in the management process.

Therefore, mangers of adult education institutions have to fulfil a multitude of different, sometimes even contradictory, roles and need to react to different external influences on their educational institutions. In this dynamic context, the managers’ traditional roles are no more sufficient, the "classic" tasks such as instructional leadership or administration are accompanied now by new tasks increased rapidly over the last few years. Flexibility, the abilities of seeking alternative financial sources, project management skills or staff development initiatives are some new dimensions to be considered. Additionally, quality development and evaluation pose an additional challenge to adult institutions managers and add considerable complexity to their position.

That is why, the present module is focused on such an important issue as: „managing adult education institutions”, aiming to provide an understanding of the concepts relating to the process of leading adults educational organisations, facilitating the development of skills and competencies needed by leaders/managers.

The module pays a particular attention to the process of managing educational organizations for adults, issues approached in the first part of the module. The central position of the notion of  “organization” in the general framework of the managerial process of adult education institutions is entirely justified, the efficiency of these institutions being directly linked with their construction as unitary organizations, with specific roles and cultures. Therefore, an in-depth analysis of the notion of “organizational culture” is added to the general framework. Also, important to be underlined is the attention paid to the adequate perception and treatment of adult education institutions as being “learning organization”. The sense attributed to this notion is in line with that defined by documents issued by European Commission, which see the learning organization as a body that encourages learning al all levels (individually and collectively) and continually transforms itself as a result (Communication from the Commission. Making a European Area of Lifelong learning a reality, Brussels, November 2001).

The module is enriched with the contribution on the meaning of the theories of managing educational institutions; the roles, functions and specific tasks are considered, along with a comprehensive list of principles of management are considered.

Two specific chapters are added, devoted to the some core issues for any managerial process: human resource management and the specific management of human relations and communication.

Summarizing all these issues, on successful completion of this unit the students will be able to:

-         Articulate an understanding and critical appreciation of the process of managing institutions for adults education;

-         Reflect critically on the management of educational institutions in their own and contexts;

-         Demonstrate specific capacities of applying and adapting issues relating to AEI management process;

-         Conceptualize management as a function of self-managing educational institutions.

Therefore, the competences envisaged by this module are:

-         Ability of proper and critical understanding of the theoretical and practical background of leading as permeable, dynamic and sustainable organizations;

-         Ability of mastering the theoretical framework of AEI management as well as its peculiarities compared to other scientific fields; acquire an overall idea of the specific roles and functions of a manager of AEI;

-         Ability of adapting the theoretical approaches presented to specific local context and organizations;

-         Ability of perception of the specific organizational culture, of defining the personal role and contribution to its effective achievement of goals.

Having such aims, it is clear that the present module attempts to move the readers from the passive role of bystanders to the role of active participants. By being more and more involved in weighing and evaluating the decisions a manager must make, the dynamics of managing organisations becomes more relevant and efficient.


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© Universitatea din Bucureşti 2003. All rigths reserved. No part of the text may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the University of Bucharest, except for short quotations with the indication of the website adress and the web page. This book was first published by Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti ISBN: 973-575-815-6
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