Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Joachim H. Knoll, former Curatorial Board member, Dies at 91

DVV International commemorates long-standing Curatorial Board member Prof. Joachim H. Knoll.

Prof. Joachim H. Knoll, © International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame

DVV International commemorates long-standing Curatorial Board member Prof. Joachim H. Knoll.

In 1964, Joachim H. Knoll was appointed to the Chair of Adult Education and Non-formal Youth Education at the Ruhr University in Bochum, which he held until his emeritus status in 1998. During those more than three decades, he transformed the professorship into an outstanding voice for both international and comparative-history adult education research.

His published works were extensive and spanned the period from the 1960s to the end of his life. This encompassed the founding of the "Internationale Jahrbuch der Erwachsenenbildung" (International Yearbook of Adult Education) as well as the co-editorship of the journal "Bildung und Erziehung" – in each case for more than four decades. In collected volumes "Erwachsenenbildung – Quo vadis?" (Adult Education – Quo Vadis?) and "Erwachsenenbildung – still confused but on a higher level" (Adult Education – still confused but on a higher level), he reflected on the various fields of activity to which he had contributed his knowledge and experience.

Prof. Knoll enriched the Curatorial Board of DVV International for over two decades, subsequently also the Advisory Board for Continuing Education of the German Adult Education Association. During his time, he wrote a position paper "Bedeutungsverlust von Bildung in der Entwicklungszusammenarbeit" (The Loss of Importance of Education in Development Cooperation), which was designed to support far-reaching lobbying and acquisition activities. Consultancy assignments took him to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Hungary and Vietnam – always with a focus on politics and legislation relating to adult education. He collaborated on the study by the European Association for Adult Education on Adult Education: Trends and Issues in Europe, which later became a key element of the EU action plan It is always a good time to learn.

In the German community adult education landscape, the Volkshochschulen (adult education centres) were of great importance to him. He contributed to the anniversary volume "100 Jahre Volkshochschulen. Geschichten ihres Alltags" (100 Years of Adult Education Centres. Stories of their daily life) and was invited to the celebratory event in the St. Paul’s Church in Frankfurt.

Prof. Knoll has been honoured in numerous ways: He received an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Berlin, was awarded the Order of Merit 1. Class of the Federal Republic of Germany and was an honorary member of the German UNESCO Commission. In 2006, he was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

Prof. Knoll died on 22 March 2024 at the age of 91.

Both the German and international adult education sector can thank him greatly. We acknowledge his achievements in life with appreciation and respect and will remember him with gratitude as a colleague, mentor and friend.

Uwe Gartenschlaeger, Director, DVV International 
Heribert Hinzen, Former Director, DVV International

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