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Learning to Change?

The Role of Identity and Learning Careers in Adult Education


Barbara Merrill

This book highlights the issues of access, learning careers and identities in a diverse range of educational settings with diverse groups of adult students across Europe. Much of the work in this book illuminates these issues through the voices of adult students and adult educators and illustrates the rich variety of practice and context of adult education in Europe. It draws on the work of scholars from across Europe within the framework of the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults (ESREA). The chapters include examples and discussions of access, learning careers and identity in the context of higher and further education, the workplace, and prisons. The reader will see how structure and agency interplays and interacts in developing, or not, the learning careers and identities of adult students and adult educators. The book will appeal to researchers and educators in adult education, other professionals in associated fields and policy makers.
Contents: Barbara Merrill: Introduction: Moving Beyond Access to Learning Careers and Identity – John Field: Learning Transitions in the Adult Life Course: agency, identity and social capital – Michael Tedder/Gert Biesta: What does it take to learn from one’s life? Exploring opportunities for biographical learning in the lifecourse – Simon Warren/Sue Webb: Accounting for structure in agency: recursive methodology, social narratives and habitus – Paula Guimarães/Amélia Vitória Sancho: Fragments of Adult Educators’ Lives: Reflecting on Informal Learning in the Workplace – Rob Evans: Talking of learning … Auto/biographical narratives of learning and computer-assisted analysis of the language of professional discourse(s) in interviews – Patricia A Gouthro: Understanding Women’s Learning Trajectories: Examining Life Histories of Women Learners in Canada – Tamsin Hinton-Smith: Lone parents as HE students: A qualitative email study – Rennie Johnston/Barbara Merrill: Developing Learning Identities for Working Class Adult Students in Higher Education –Nalita James/Bethia McNeil: The Impact of Drama on Young Offenders’ Learning Identities and Careers – Peter Alheit: The symbolic power of knowledge. Exclusion mechanisms of the ‘university habitus’ in the German HE system – Ewa Kurantowicz/Adrianna Nizińska: Practicing critical, reflexive and autonomous learning among students of higher education. A Polish case study – Ana Maria Ramalho Correia/Dulce Magalhães de Sá/Ana Cristina Costa/Anabela Sarmento: Building a Knowledge and Learning Society in Portugal - Adult Students in Technological Schools and Higher Education Institutions – Jan Thorhauge Frederiksen: Grading and Knowledge - a Matrix of Student Identities.