Context of the 2020 conference
The context of our conference includes what we see as the limitations of much existing research and understanding of transformative processes in lifelong learning and adult education, and the need for less reductive sensibilities in our conversations, conferences and research. We need to acknowledge more of what we don’t know or are uncertain about in relation to human and or social transformation and transformative learning. We should strive, in dialogue, to combine cognitive, corporal, relational, psychosocial, aesthetic and ecological perspectives in getting closer to the complex heart of transformational experience. Ours is a time of urgency, crisis even, in our individual and collective lives and our relationship to the planet. We are witnesses to profound, sometimes disturbing economic, cultural and ecological transformations affecting individuals, whole societies and the planet. People can seem reluctant or unable to engage with all this, for fear, perhaps, of being overwhelmed. Diverse aspects of everyday life, the life course, as well as our relationships are all affected. The aim of this conference is to capitalize on existing literature on transformative learning (e.g., Mezirow & Associates, 2000; Taylor & Cranton, 2012) and explore further more recent research initiatives, such as those associated with the development of the TPLE Network (e.g., Alhadeff-Jones, 2017; Flemming, Kokkos & Finnegan, 2019; Formenti & West, 2018; Laros, Fuhr & Taylor, 2017). Doing so, we would like to revisit collectively how we frame and engage with transformative processes, and resistance to them, in all dimensions, to help build a new, interdisciplinary, multi-referential, and imaginative research and praxis community. The aim of this conference is to extend the dialogue, again, with you, as to how our collective work can be enhanced, and in what ways and on what and whose terms.
Aim of the conference
Accordingly, the emphasis of the conference will be on formulating and exploring, collectively, in dialogue, the questions that currently shape how we conceive, study and promote transformative processes. Participants are asked to contribute to our conference with questions they do not have answers to and that they wish to explore further. Our work, as stated, is not to be structured in a traditional format privileged in previous conferences (paper presentation and short Q&A). Our aim is to provide and facilitate a time and space, where participants can delve more deeply into the process of exploring and discussing/answering questions rather than just offering a place to share given answers and research results