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.