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ESREA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network

ERSEA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network

25 - 27 November, 2015, University of Seville, Spain

First Call for Papers

Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World


The last ESREA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network Conference in 2013 had the ‘crisis’ as its theme. Two years on the economic crisis, which also has social and political consequences, is still with us and continues to be particularly dominant in the south of Europe. As a consequence younger and older adults are finding themselves in a labour market which either offers no jobs, low paid jobs and/or jobs with zero contracts which impacts on the self, identity and their communities.

New challenges as well as new threats are posed to adult education in such times which could both offer a potential way out of the crisis and an alternative to the dominant stories played out by the economic discourse. Within this framework continuity and discontinuity in learning careers are an interesting dimension to interrogate. In a complex way they can be conceived as two sides of the same coin, not opposite but complimentary and mutually generating and impacting upon the learning career and identity of an adult student. What individual and social choices do these processes involve and what meanings do learners give to them? What disorientating dilemmas do they bring to a person’s biography? The idea of continuity and discontinuity underlies the possibility (or the constraint) for a new personal and work life trajectory which may represent a critical moment in a person’s life. Some adults also actively choose to leave their study before finishing. Although it is a disrupted learning career it may not necessarily be a negative one. What factors at the micro, meso and macro levels come into play?

In a changing world what potential learning spaces – formal and informal- can be identified to encourage adults, particularly non-traditional adults, to learn in ways which are beneficial and positive to them as well as in ways which enables them to challenge the inequalities they experience in society?

Keynote Speaker

Michel Alhadeff-Jones, University of Fribourg, Switzerland and Director of the Sunkronos Institute

Call for Papers, Poster Sessions and Round Tables

Papers, round-tables and poster sessions will be welcome which address one or more of the following areas across the wide range of adult education contexts:

  • The role and impact of learning careers in fostering continuity or discontinuity in learning biographies
  • Developing potentials for learning spaces in a changing world
  • Using concepts, theory, disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches to understanding continuities and discontinuities in learning careers
  • Inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity and disability
  • Methodological approaches to researching continuities and discontinuities in learning careers

Proposals are invited for papers, poster sessions, symposiums and round tables. Please submit abstracts in two separate files: one including the paper title, the name, address, e-mail of each author and information on whether it is a paper, poster session, symposium or round table; and the second one including the paper title and abstract only. Abstracts should be one side of A4 maximum with Arial, 12 points. Please submit your abstract to Barbara Merrill (

All abstracts for papers, poster sessions, symposiums and round tables to be submitted by 20 September, 2015. Notification of acceptance will be by 1 October, 2015. The deadline for the submission of completed papers will be 6 November, 2015.

We can accept abstracts in languages other than English and which relate to the languages such as Spanish, Italian, and French.

Further information for contributors of Abstracts/Papers can be found in the (Word Document) attached document, along with information regarding:

  • Bursaries
  • Scientific Committee
  • Organising Committee
  • Organising Institutions
  • Conference venue, times and fees
  • Accommodation

Abstract documents are located in this zip file (ZIP or other archive) Seville Conference