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ERIC Number: EJ1062295
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0266-0830
Biographical Learning and Non-Formal Education: Questing, Threads and Choosing How to Be Older
Duncan, Sam
Studies in the Education of Adults, v47 n1 p35-48 Spr 2015
This paper presents an initial inductive analysis of eight semi-structured interviews with English adult learners conducted as part of the European Union (EU) BeLL project. It uses the theoretical lens of biographical learning (with its key concepts of agency and narrative) to explore what these interviews can tell us about the ways adults express the benefits of liberal adult education and its relationship to informal learning. Initial findings suggest that benefits are experienced as "bundles" and that adults talk about their participation in adult education as a form of "taking control" of their lives, including "choosing how to be old" and glimpsing "fulfillment". It also suggests that the ways adults talk about these benefits--and their wider biographical learning--can be used to identify a) foci for further national and pan-European analysis of the BeLL data; b) avenues for future research; and c) potentially fruitful theoretical lenses through which we can develop our understanding of the value of this and other interview data.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: European Union; United Kingdom (England)