Using Biographical and Life History Approaches in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Learning: European Perspectives
Edited By Linden West, Peter Alheit, Anders Siig Anderson and Barbara Merrill
15 Biographical and Life History Approaches: Cornmonalities and Differences in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Leaming
1 5 Biographical and Life History Approaches: Cornmonalities and Differences in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Leaming Linden West, Barbara Merrill and Anders Siig Andersen, with Kirsten Weber and Henning Salling Olesen. Commonalities and Differences This book has i l lustrated, in fine detail , the use and potential of biographical, l ife history or narrative approaches in building deeper forms of understanding of processes of adult and lifelong leaming - formal , informal, incidental and intimate - and their relationship, in diverse settings. The book offers many examples of the wealth of biographical and li fe history research, and its unique potential to illuminate people 's lives and their interaction with the social world, and the interplay of history and micro worlds, in struggles for agency and meaning in lives. And to illuminate the interplay of different experiences and forms of leaming - from the most intimate to the most formal - in ways that challenge bureaucratic distinctions in leaming and the tendency to compartmentalise experience. Clearly the book reflects the changing nature and boundaries of adult education, or adult and lifelong leaming, as it flows through different and diverse sites, in a lifewide as weil as lifelong sense. There is a rich tapestry of research and reflection woven into the chapters, covering widely different contexts - leaming at work, in families, in political movements , in therapy, as weil as in more formal educational settings - and drawing on various disciplinary influences and methodological assumptions. There are obvious differences in...
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