Travelling in time via narration: Three types of biographical learning

Rozvadská, K. (2023). Travelling in time via narration: Three types of biographical learning. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 63 (1).

8. 6. 2023

This is a study of the process of biographical learning and how it can be observed in narration. There have not yet been empirical studies focused explicitly on the learning aspects of biographical learning, as scholars have focused more on the biographical part of the concept – more on the question of what is learned than of how it is learned. This text therefore concentrates on the learning process itself within biographical learning, using data from 29 biographical narrative interviews with mature students studying for education degrees in Czech higher education. The results show that narrators do not present their experiences separately in their narration, one after another. The narrative analysis revealed that their experiences are intertwined. In adding another experience, the narrators discover new meanings. It is therefore possible to talk about the learning process going on in the narration. The narrative analysis identified three types of this biographical learning as reflected in narration: learning by analogy, learning by audit, and learning by authority. In learning by analogy, experiences are compared to one another, creating an analogy between them. Learning by authority involves the influence of a past experience on the present day. Learning by audit is a retrospective movement, looking at a past experience through the lens of the present. The results presented here have implications for both adult education research and practice.

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