Skip to Content

Dina Soeiro

Learning & teaching

Dina Soeiro: “Older learners are neglected”

Authors: Kaisu Sofia John Published:

Dina Soeiro

Our “Meet the board” series introduces the members of ELM magazine’s editorial board. Our newest member, Dina Soeiro, stands for the right to education for all, regardless of age, background or personal circumstances.

The ELM editorial board plays an important role in developing the magazine. The board consists of seven adult-education experts and academics from different parts of Europe. In the “Meet the board” series, we offer you the opportunity to learn more about the members and their thoughts.

In this interview, we present our new board member, Dina Soeiro from Portugal. Soeiro is a Professor at the Education School of the Polytechnic University of Coimbra. She is also a board member of the EAEA (European Association for the Education of Adults) and co-convenor of the ESREA (European Society for Research on Education of Adults).

What in adult education is particularly interesting to you?

I am deeply interested in offering high-quality and equal learning opportunities for older learners, enhancing intergenerational learning and promoting awareness of the importance of learning at an advanced age. It is never too late to learn, but there is no time to waste.

I believe in the great potential of transformative and emancipatory adult education. I also feel real enthusiastic passion for adult learning and education for all.

What would you like to change in the world through your work?

Through my work, I fight for a steady, solid public investment in adult education in Europe and for strengthening and broadening adult education policies. Adult education is for life, not just for the economy.

I stand for adult education integrated in a lifelong learning strategy that considers and equally values formal, non-formal and informal learning.

Adult education is for life, not just for the economy.

Older people are now a large and growing sector of the European population, but older learners are neglected. I want to change that! I advocate for the right for education, as a public good, no matter what age, background or personal circumstances.

What do you get out of being on ELM’s editorial board?

It is a privilege and a great opportunity to learn from colleagues, to build bridges and establish new connections.

As a teacher, researcher and practitioner who works on non-formal adult education with communities, organisations and political actors, I intend to increase cooperation and learning among practices, research, training and policies.

I also expect to contribute to the visibility of new, interesting experiences from the south of Europe.

How would you describe a recent learning experience of yours?

I love music, and I sing in two choirs. At the last rehearsal, the conductor gave me important feedback. He said I wasn’t behaving like a soprano. I realised that my attitude in the choir is very much one of listening and hearing the others sing, not standing out.

I understood that he was trying to tell me that I need to share my voice with more confidence. It’s a learning experience that I can transfer to various dimensions of life.

What do you do on your spare time?

In addition to singing in choirs, I love to read Fernando Pessoa. The Book of Disquiet is always on my bedside. You can imagine why.

Share the article


Kaisu Sofia John (MA) is the editor of ELM magazine. Contact: kaisu.kinnunen(at); +358 400 641 380 Show all articles by Kaisu Sofia John
Back to top