ESREA Network on Life History and Biographical Research
Dr Linden West, Co-Director of the Centre for International Studies of Diversity and Participation, Department of Educational Research
Canterbury Christ Church University
United Kingdom CT1 1QU
Dr Laura Formenti
Universyt of Milano - Bicocca
Aims/themes of the network:
This network was established in the early 1990s and brings together diverse scholars from across Europe - North and South, East and West – with a range of disciplinary backgrounds and diverse theoretical frames in the use of biographical and/or life history approaches methods in the study of adult and lifelong learning. The Network enables people to share their research and to learn from each other, whether they are experienced researchers or post-graduate students about to begin their studies. The Network has led to a number of collaborative research projects, some of which have been financed by the European Union.
History of the Network:
The first and second meetings of the network were held in Geneva in 1993 and Vienna in 1994 with over 100 adult education researchers from all over Europe. Peter Alheit and Pierre Dominicé were leading players in establishing the network and have played a prominent role throughout its history. Annual conferences have been held in Germany, Denmark, Geneva, Italy and England on diverse topics.
Frequency of meetings:
A research conference is held annually. Members of the network are in regular contact with each other at other times with relation to publications and research projects.
Alheit, P., Bron, A., Brugger, E. & Dominicé, P. (Eds.) (1995), The Biographical Approach in European Adult Education, Wein: Verband Wiener Volksbildung.
West, L., Alheit, P., Anderson, A. & Merrill, B. (Eds.) (2007), Using Biographical and Life-history Approaches in the Study of Adult and Lifelong Learning: perspectives from across Europe, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag.
This new book illuminates the rich and creative uses of biographical and life history approaches in studying adult and lifelong learning, in diverse ways and settings, across many European countries. It draws on the work of internationally known scholars and encompasses learning in the workplace, in families, communities, schools, colleges and universities, as well as in the professions, and in managing processes of migration and building new social movements. The reader will discover, in the book, a compelling chronicle of the interplay of learning across people’s lives – formal, informal and intimate – and how to make sense of this, using interdisciplinary perspectives. The book will speak to researchers – new and experienced – and educators and other professionals wanting to extend their understanding of learners and learning as well as the potential of this ‘family’ of research methods.
Last updated: 2009-12-09