The aim of this paper is to identify emerging themes and processes in the area of public policies for youth and adult education. This paper first explores the process that redefined the identity of and the public policies for youth and adult education in Brazil, resulting from both the recognition of the learners' sociocultural diversity and the conflict between the compensatory paradigm and the concept of continuing education throughout life. It then discusses the challenges and conflicts of the public policies to overcome the marginal position assigned to youth and adults in the educational reform that took place in the 1990. It finally suggests that the main current challenges to be faced by the public policies in this field emerge from the dialogue agenda and the conflict between the movement favoring youth and adult education and the Government. The latter include, among others, the articulation between literacy and schooling, the public financing strategies, the collaboration between the different Government levels, and teacher training and professionalization.
Educational policies; youth and adult education; social movements and education