Learning from Our Lives. Using Educational Biographies with Adults

  • ID: 2217760
  • Book
  • 240 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Educational biography is a promising new approach to helping adult learners understand what they already know, how and why they learned in the past, and what motivates them to pursue new educational opportunities. Through the process of talking in groups and writing their histories, participants can not only reflect on their learning experiences, but enhance their critical thinking, collaborate in their own educational journeys, and build their awareness of such situational influences as family, work, and community.

Learning from Our Lives is the first professional guide to using educational biography with adult learners. It offers engaging anecdotes and narratives, insightful interpretations and analyses, and numerous examples of different biographical approaches. Written for practitioners who conduct adult educational programs in formal or informal settings, this book can help teachers, trainers, career counselors, and human resource professionals to empower learners in assuming greater responsibility for their education and development. Author Pierre Dominicé draws valuable lessons from his work with educational biography to describe the multiple ways in which adults think and learn. His explorations help educators to stay focused on learning and not just teaching.

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Learning as an Active Search for Meaning.

Understanding Biographical Approaches to Learning.

From Life History to Educational Biography.

How Adults Educate Themselves.

Exploring Adults′ Ways of Thinking.

Learners′ Needs, Motivations, and Dreams.

Helping Learners Put Words to Their Lives.

Giving Evaluation Another Meaning.

Conclusion: Creating Conditions for Successful Learning in Adult Life.
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"There is much emphasis these days on helping learners find their voice, encouraging diversity and using narratives to understand learner perspectives. Learning from Our Lives addresses these concerns. This book is refreshingly personal and studded with insightful case study examples. It is a timely and major contribution to the literature of adult education." (Jack Mezirow, professor emeritus, Adult and Continuing Education, Teachers College, Columbia University)

"′To thine own self be true.′ Learning from Our Lives is a brilliant tribute to the value of teachers intentionally guiding students to sharpen what I believe Howard Gardner has named intrapersonal intelligence." (Margaret Holt, assistant professor, University of Georgia, Athens)

"Dominice confirms and articulates what adult educators have always known––the life experience of adult learners can be a reservoir of insight, a powerful motivator, and an integrating influence in the classroom. Learning from Our Lives offers a valuable contribution to the growing dialogue centering around narrative approaches to education, autobiographical learning, and ways in which autobiographical activities stimulate personal growth and transformative learning. It is a valuable resource for both program developers and teachers of adults." (Marsha Rossiter, associate director, Division of Continuing Education and Extension, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh)
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