From learning contexts to learning lives: Studying learning (dis)continuities from the perspective of the learners

Alfredo Jornet Gil, Ola Erstad


As digital technologies continue transforming the time and space boundaries that traditionally had been ascribed to different educational settings, the very notion of learning context also is being challenged in educational research literature. In this article, we contribute to this debate by offering an empirically grounded discussion on the contrast between customary notions of context—which emphasize self-containment—and the emerging notion of learning lives—which aims to capture the dialectical relation between continuity and transformation. We draw from empirical materials collected through a participant ethnography at an arts-based, community-oriented primary school, where we follow the learning life of a student participating at a theater project as she moves between the school and the home settings. Our analyses reveal how different conceptualizations and units of analysis lead to different characterizations of the ways digital tools foster (dis)continuities across settings and time.


Learning lives, context, arts-based education, situations,

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