Primary education: listening and observing
Primary education: listening and observing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3 Learning Lives

The Learning Lives project was a large-scale, four year study by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Its aim was to increase understanding about formal and informal learning. The project involved in-depth interviews with 117 adults, aged between 25 and 85 years. The project took a ‘biographical’ approach by asking adults about their learning biographies and life learning ‘trajectories’ or pathways.

The project found that constructing a ‘life story’ or a ‘life narrative’ is a helpful way to identify what and how you have learned from events in your personal life and in your work life.

The Learning Lives project suggests that a life narrative or a life story has a ‘plot’ that the author (you) uses to select, organise and present life events in a particular order. This order might be as a sequence of events, but it might be presented as a series of themes. In short, constructing a plot enables you to make sense of your life in a coherent way and to identify patterns of learning in your experiences.

Next, you will read a case study from the Learning Lives project.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371