What I do

Click here to download my CV

Click here to download short bio1 and short bio2


I am an international consultant, based in Paris, specialised in education and training policy and strategies for lifelong/life-wide learning. At the end of 2013 I retired from my position as Director of the European Institute of Education and Social Policy (www.eiesp.org ) where I had worked since 1989. Bringing change and improvements to education and training and all situations where children, young people and adults are learning so that every person can flourish and all can lead happy, healthy and meaningful lives is at the core of my work. 

I have wide experience in the comparison and analysis of education policies and systems, and in contributing to lifelong learning opportunities and personal development through improving access to learning for all age-groups; recognition of learning and experience; individualising pathways and increasing transparency of learning and qualifications in Europe.

Some of my recent work has focused on the shift to learning outcomes, both in adult learning and school education (including VET); the development and implementation of key competence policies in Europe; and developing a policy advocacy document on Learning for Well-being.

Since 2005 I have been working with the Learning for Well-being Foundation (Universal Education Foundation) and am a Fellow of the Learning for Well-being Community. Recent work has included the development of a policy review tool for the Learning for Well-being Charter for Children, building evidence resources on L4WB and activities promoting children's participation, including CATS (Children as Actors for Transforming Society). I am a member of the CATS core team for design, planning and organisation and you can find out more about CATS 2014, 2015 and 2016 on the Blogging page of this website. See also Instagram: http://@jeangordonparis

In January 2016 we launched the first issue of the Learning for Well-being Magazine that I co-edit with Linda O'Toole on behalf of UEF. 

Over the last 25 years I have undertaken studies, missions and projects for the European Commission, in the EU Member States, as well in partner countries of the EU (Western Balkans, MEDA countries and Central Asia).

I was a Joint Editor of the European Journal of Education  from 2004 to 2015 and remain an editorial board member. EJE is edited by the EIESP and published by Wiley Blackwell. I have designed and/or coordinated many issues of the journal since 1997, for example on the futures of learning, education and well-being, intercultural dialogue, equal opportunities, qualifications frameworks, access to lifelong learning, literacy, etc. In 2015 we published Volume 50 of the journal which was a very important milestone and an exciting endeavour to edit 4 linked issues. I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to co-edit two of the issues: Issue 1: What Is Learning For? and Issue 4: Citizens, Learners and Workers in a Complex, Changing World; challenges for policy and research. You can find my article for Issue 4, Glimpsing the Future in the Past: VET in Europe, here on the web page of EJE. The last 25 years or so have been critical for the development of VET in Europe. Making VET more attractive and increasing its parity of esteem in relation to general secondary education have been major, recurring themes in European countries, as part of, at least conceptually, more comprehensive approaches to lifelong and life-wide learning. From 1989 to 2003, the European Journal of Education (EJE) published a special issue on ‘Trends in Vocational Education and Training’ every two years and has continued to publish on VET related topics. This article revisits the major themes and challenges as they were observed and discussed by the authors who wrote in those special issues and in later articles. Many were directly involved in advisory positions to governments; held key decision-making responsibilities; undertook studies and consultancy and brought technical assistance across several countries. Their articles are moments of reflection nourished by experience on the ground. This article explores how the European Journal of Education has contributed to European reflection on VET systems, policies and preoccupations in recent decades – what can we learn that is useful for shaping and formulating our present ideas about new policy from our colleagues writing about the same or similar issues 20 years ago? 


           Parc Montsouris, Sept. 2014   


A brief summary of my key skills and experience:

I have extensive experience in:

  • Policy analysis, research and transnational studies, report and article writing, capacity-building, facilitation of policy review processes and evaluation.
  • Comparison and analysis of education policies and systems, and in contributing to lifelong learning opportunities & personal development through improving access to learning and its recognition, individualising pathways and increasing transparency of learning and qualifications in Europe and developing qualification frameworks at EU and national levels.
  • Europe-wide studies, particularly for the EU Commission, on different sub-sectors of education and training systems, lifelong learning strategies and themes such as cross-curricular key competences, learning outcomes, parity of esteem, mobility. 
  • Formative and qualitative monitoring and evaluation of innovative projects and of education systems and programmes including with a focus on lifelong learning strategies, diversity and including evaluations of EU programmes. Activities include: design of evaluation objectives, frameworks, criteria and indicators in discussion with the client(s); design of main evaluation tools (large-scale surveys, small qualitative surveys, semi-structured interview guidelines for different stakeholders and/or project participants, focus group design & facilitation); collection of data through documentation analysis, surveys, interviews, focus group meetings, etc.; transversal analysis of different types of data and report writing; presentation of results in meetings and conferences; follow-up with clients.
  • Project development and management: design, tendering, budget estimations; team-building and negotiation with partners; reporting, drawing out recommendations to policy makers. Design and implementation of projects; development of tools, conceptual frameworks and approaches; organisation of implementation; analysis of results and outcomes; managing and coordinating teams from different national and organisational backgrounds.
  • Building partnerships with different types of organisations in different countries and working in multicultural and multi-language groups.  
  • Good experience of dissemination of policy analysis and research in the field through journals, websites and other communication products. That includes over 10 years experience as the Joint Editor of the European Journal of Education.
  • Development with management board and staff and implementation of overall vision, mission and strategy of a small, European not-for-profit organisation. Coordination of the governance and daily management.

Download here a bibliography of selected publications

Nantes 2012            Photo: Serge Vessaz