Laura Formenti, Linden West (edited by)

Stories that make a difference. Exploring the collective, social and political potential of narratives in adult education research

Collana: Pedagogia della cura - Famiglie, comunità, legami sociali
Anno: 2016
Pagine: 410
Formato: 14.00 x 21.00 cm
ISBN: 9788867603602

€ 23,00
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This book offers an overview of biographical research on adult education and learning, in Europe and in the larger world, through a choice of 50 examples of inquiry from the Life History and Biography Network of ESREA, the European Society for Research on the Education of Adults. The questions that originated the book (and a conference held in Milano in March 2015) were political and epistemological. On the political side, the authors were invited to reflect whether life history and biographical research can make any difference in a troubled and troubling world. Is this kind of research able to increase our understanding of human lives and to give back meaningful knowledge to society, in a world of increasing tensions, mass migration, ecological and democratic fragility, raising terrorism and fundamentalisms, and prone to neo-liberal, individualistic, and competitive values? On the epistemological side, what kind of stories have the power to challenge conventional approaches and ready-made theories, or practices? The increasing presence of art and creative languages in research is a new challenge, maybe allowing the enhancement of stories, including marginalized ones, to add new meaning, to attract listeners, to create spaces for dialogue and sharing, as well as to heal disconnections of mind and nature, heart and brain, research and real life. This is partly to resist pervasive neo-liberal normalizing processes and open possibilities for collective action. The book is in 8 parts, each exploring an area where the transformative potential of biographical research becomes evident. Stories can make a difference, then, when they are used:

• to illuminate political issues and enhance democratic engagement (part A);

• to foster participation and collective learning (part B);

• to enhance and enrich self-narration by using arts and media (part C);

• to support community development and relationships at a local level (part D);

• to propitiate self-awareness, meaning, and transformation (part E);

• to enrich views and practices of formal/informal learning (part F);

• to transform care practices (part G); and not least

• to celebrate ‘ordinary’ lives (part H).