C219, 2nd Floor, College Building, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT
In this seminar we review research from different disciplinary and epistemological traditions, providing evidence of the beneficial effects of lifelong learning, especially when taking into account the dynamics of the life course.
Transitions and turning-points in youth and in adult life are markers of diversification of the life course; how far these diversifications amount to 'de-standardisation' of the life course is debated. They involve biographical negotiation, in which any decision is consequential upon previous decisions and involves the exercise of contextualised preferences as well as the calculations of 'rational choice'. Gaining a better understanding of how changing demands are negotiated at different life stages offers a new perspective, moving from narrow versions of rational choice theory towards models of biographical negotiation as promising avenues for effective policy-making.
Karen Evans is Professor of Education at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London. She is a leading researcher in the UK Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Research Centre for Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES). Her fields of interest include adult learning, learning in life and work transitions, and learning in and through the workplace. She has directed major research studies in Britain and internationally, including Anglo-German and Anglo-Canadian comparative studies of education and working life. She currently coordinates a research programme of the Asia-Europe Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning. Books include Learning and Work in the Risk Society (Palgrave), Learning, Work and Social Responsibility (Springer), and Improving Workplace Learning (Routledge). She is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.