About the 2024 Research Symposium Series

This year, the ESREA STREAM Network Research Symposium Series will focus on transitions. Transitions are located at the core of adult education. First, because the praxis of adult education is supposed to help people dealing with the experience of transitions that require learning to be managed or regulated (e.g., personal, familial, professional, or organizational reconfigurations, related to ongoing changes or emerging crises). Second, because adult education is expected to trigger changes that involve transitioning between different times and spaces of one’s life (e.g., promoting continuing education to foster social mobility).

From a temporal perspective, the transitional dimensions of adult education appear for instance through the successive “states” or “stages” through which “development” or “transformation” are conceived (e.g., from “before” to “after”, from being “less” to being “more” knowledgeable, skilful, critical, adaptive, mature). From a spatial perspective the transitional dimensions of adult education are revealed through the different “places” that people may occupy and the “mobility” that may be involved, for instance within a social circle, an institution, a cultural or geographic context (e.g., migration), a physical or a virtual environment.

In contrast to the notions of “change” or “transformation”, that tend to stress and take for granted identifiable “starting” and “arrival” points, the notion of transition emphasizes the movement observed or experienced, as a liminal process in tension between the “already” and the “not yet”, that is the “in-between”. The notion of transition appears thus as particularly valuable because it stresses the fluid, processual and rhythmic nature of phenomena such as learning, transformation and development, as they occur in and through spaces and times.

Against this backdrop, in this seminar series we invite scholars from a broad range of disciplines to address transitional phenomena by mobilizing the conceptual nuance and richness encapsulated in related notions, such as “liminality”, "life course", “transgression”, "professional development", “virtualization”, “hybridity” and “dissipation”. These, in turn, will serve as entry points to articulate, debate and question how individuals and communities experience transitions. The seminars will be guided by (but not limited to) questions such as:

• How do we experience transitions? How do we learn from them?
• How do we theorize transitional processes? How do we anticipate them?
• How can we better navigate changes through calibration?
• How do we conceive the relationship between crisis, disruption, and transition?
• How do we conceive the relationship between macro-meso-micro processes of transitions (e.g. social, political, environmental, etc.)
• How do (adult) educators support people in dealing with such transitions?
• How do we articulate the learning and generative potential that are intrinsic to the messiness of transitions?
• How can transitions, intended as processes rather than ‘states’, be used to advance a processual understanding of (adult) education?

Participation in this Research Symposium Series is free and open to anyone. Each Zoom session starts with a presentation from the main speaker (approx. 45 min.) and is followed by a discussion with the audience (approx. 40 min.). The STREAM Network 2024 Research Symposium Series is supported by the Sunkhronos Institute.



Introducing the ESREA STREAM Network & the 2024 Research Symposium Series: A Dialogical Opening

Tuesday January 23rd, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET


Dr. Michel Alhadeff-Jones
Institut Sunkhronos, University of Fribourg (Switzerland) & Columbia University (USA)

Dr. Fadia Dakka
Birmingham City University(UK) & Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway)

Dr. Sabine Schmidt-Lauff
Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (Germany)

Liminality and Transitions

Tuesday February 27th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET 

Dr. Arpad Szakolczai
University College Cork (Ireland)

Life Course and Transitions

Tuesday March 5th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET

Dr. Elisa Thevenot
University of Tßbingen (Germany)

Transgression and Transitions

Tuesday March 26th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET

Dr. Heila Lotz-Sisitka
University of Rhodes (South Africa)

Professional Development and Transitions

Tuesday April 23rd, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET

Dr. Tania Zittoun
University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland)

Virtual Learning and Transitions

Tuesday April 30th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET

Dr. JÜrg Noller
Ludwig Maximilians University Munich (Germany)

Hybrid Learning and Transitions

Tuesday May 7th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET


Dr. Alex Wade
Birmingham City University (UK)

Dr. Louise Lambert
Birmingham City University (UK)

Dissipation and Transitions

Tuesday June 4th, 2024 @ 13:00-14:30pm CET


Dr. Julia Elven
Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen (Germany)

Dr. JĂśrg Schwarz
Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (Germany)


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