HomeEducation and mobility

HomeEducation and mobility

Education and mobility

Éducation à la mobilité

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Published on Monday, June 26, 2017


The conference “Education for mobility” proposes; to explore the implications of education for mobility across the education system - from primary school to university - and relating to all those involved in both formal and less formal education settings; to question the very foundations of the concept of mobility and their relationship with pedagogical implementation; analyse tools and approaches and their effectiveness in all spheres of education; interrogate the impact of Education for mobility on professional identities and professionalism in education contexts; to articulate pedagogies of mobility and otherness; to consider Education for mobility in a pluri- and multicultural context.


23-24 novembre 2017, ESPE de Caen, Université de Caen Normandie 


In the current context, characterised by the intensification of exchanges and migratory movements as well as « the growing uncertainty and the flexibility of contemporary identities » (Gohard-Radenkovic, Murphy-Lejeune, 2008, 127) the concept of transnational mobility is frequently invoked as one of the paradigms of our “hypermodernity’ (Aubert, 2004). The concept of transnational mobility raises complex and sometimes contradictory issues which give it a polymorphous and polytopic dimension (Stock, 2006). Thus, to physical and geographical mobility is superimposed a mobility envisaged in terms of metaphors and processes (Urry, 2005) which are notably apparent in the blurring of the distinction between internal (village, class, region) and external (foreign, barbaric), close and distant (Viard, 2006).

Transnational mobility is consequently a frequently invoked concept when thinking about inclusion/exclusion in what might be called the “cultural space” and at different scales. Furthermore, lack of access to mobility, or its restriction, is a marker of social inequality (Marzloff, 2005). The link between social mobility, expressing change, and spatial mobility expressing displacement (Gallez, Kaufmann, 2009) reveals a kind of hierarchy of mobilities: the failure to recognise the learning from mobility of certain populations can be seen in opposition to the value given to learning for mobility (Brougere et Fabbiano, 2014). 

In an educational context, “education, training and production become merged: to the school and the university’s socialisation function are added the acquisition of transferable skills (mobility, flexibility, adapatability) and competences which have become indispensable in the labour market” (Erlich, 2012:56).  At the same time, we can see a diversification of mobilities (eg. circular vs linear mobilities) which become “hypermobilities” when they take on a multimodal, namely digital dimension, with the democratisation of access, both physical and virtual, to elsewhere. The perpetual circulation and immediacy of information and of all sorts of knowledge introduce the proliferation of possibilities in terms of exchange and sharing in a context of democratic appropriation enabled by digital tools which inscribe the individual in a dynamic of constantly evolving interaction (Vitali-Rosati, 2016). Mobility appears thus as a paradigm which opens up new forms of freedom and redeployment for the individual (see “in praise of mobility” according to Jean Viard). 

Nevertheless, it is important to remember its problematic nature (Ortar and Lejoux, 2017).  Zygmunt Bauman (2006) defines mobility as the signature concept of “fluid modern life” characterised by an increased exhortation to movement, to speed, in a context of quasi immediate obsolescence of objects and experiences. In this context, the ‘hypermodern’ individual is engaged in a race to performative mobility which structures his/her identity, which itself has become fluid, mobile and constantly ‘becoming’. However, the growth in population movements (economic migration, refugees…) and the externalisation of conflict lead to an attitude of withdrawal: hypermodern subjects are so many embattled individuals in a society itself embattled (Bauman, 2002), a frontier society in a full world in which “we are all internal people, permanent residents who have nowhere else to go” (24). Thus, in a professional context, real and symbolic sharing of spaces, temporalities and modes and fields of practice is often experienced as an intrusion. From that perspective, a number of analyses of contexts of hypermobility reveal findings of ‘hypomobility’ (Dervin, 2008, Anquetil, 2006, Abdallah-Pretceille, 2008, Erlich 2012) and even demands to the right to immobility (Hardouin et Moro, 2014: 77) which can be seen as only paradoxical in superficial appearance.

Nevertheless, are these obstacles to mobility - hypermobility, undemocratic access, withdrawal, hypomobility, directly attributable to our contemporary context? Do they not rather emerge from a trans-historic problematic? We should remember these lines from Seneca in the renowned letter XXVIII to Lucilius: Hoc tibi soli putas accidisse et admiraris quasi rem novam, quod peregrinatione tam longa et tot locorum varietatibus non discussisti tristitia gravitatemque mentis ? Animum debes mutare, non caelum. […] Quid terrarum iuvare novitas potest ? Quid cognitio urbium aut locorum ? Quaris quare te fuga ista non adiuvet ? Tecum fugis. Onus animi deponendum est : non ante tibi ullus placebit locus.[1] If travel is not necessarily good for the soul, it is because the travellers do not necessarily ask themselves about their own inherent involvement in the process, a questioning which requires reflexivity, a fundamental de-centring which allows “one to see oneself as others”. (Ricoeur, 1990) thereby rendering the experience of travel as experience of ‘otherness’. Thus the concept of mobility must also be understood in terms of its fundamentally anthropological dimension. François Laplantine (1999 : 81) reminds us of the ontological mobility of identity and of the subject and defends the idea of “pluralism of the self […] If I can understand others, it is because I am other than myself […] If we are always different from ourselves and never complete and closed, it is because the whole world is movement, change, instability, variation and multiplicity”. Beings and things are thus ontologically dynamic and emergent.

The current challenge to educators is to acknowledge the full complexity of the concept of mobility, both contemporary paradigm of a so called hypermodern society and anthropological invariant, to ensure that it supports the development of an active citizenship and includes and develops principles of social equality, liberty and solidarity in order to provide balance to a concept of mobility which reflects at least in part the dominant individualism. What are the perspectives on and approaches to education for mobility for all (Ballatore, 2010)? How do we interpret the question of the right to mobility? What steps might enable the de-compartmentalisation of education in its formal and less formal contexts to generate a global view of education for mobility which integrates mobility practices in all the spheres of life, namely schooling, study and leisure? Beyond childhood and youth, what education for mobility is there throughout the life span?

In a context in which national and international institutions prescribe a ‘pedagogy of otherness’ as necessary, it is essential to consider the issues and means for an inclusive and voluntary approach: an Education for mobility for all those involved in education, those being educated as well as educators themselves co-actors in the mobility (Gohard-Radenkovic, 2009). This is the field which today needs developing and this requires “new interdisciplinary intersections” (Gohard-Radenkovic, Murphy-Lejeune, 2008, 134) and specific tools which allow us to tackle the philosophical, the socio-anthropological and societal issues of mobility.  In fact the issues raised by an Education for mobility are closely related to the development of sociocultural competences and the necessary acknowledgement of the complexity of the experience of ‘otherness’ at all educational, spatial and multimodal scales.

In this context, Education for mobility should be seen as an interdisciplinary approach, at the intersection of other Education ‘subjects’ and notably, but not exclusively, Media Education. This conference “Education for mobility” therefore proposes ; to explore the implications of education for mobility across the education system - from primary school to university - and relating to all those involved in both formal and less formal education settings ; to question the very foundations of the concept of mobility and their relationship with pedagogical implementation ; analyse tools and approaches and their effectiveness in all spheres of education; interrogate the impact of Education for mobility on professional identities and professionalism in education contexts; to articulate pedagogies of mobility and otherness; to consider Education for mobility in a pluri- and multicultural context.

The conference languages are French and English. Papers should address one of the four themes below :

  1. Towards an epistemology of mobility in formal and less formal education contexts : polytopic mobility, social mobility, spatial mobility, virtual mobility, physical mobility, cultural mobility, freedom and mobility.
  2. Experiences and challenges of professional, school and university mobilities : institutional framing of mobility, tools and resources (including digital), research approaches and tools supporting mobility (journals, blogs, photography …)
  3. Mobility and different identities of participants (educators and learners : Transitions between different settings, the inter-relationship of different life spheres, the construction of the course of the individual’s mobility , relationship with disciplinary pedagogies, study of reflexivity of participants in different education contexts (formal and informal).
  4. Mobility and plur- and multicultural contexts : linguistic and cultural pedagogy, intercultural competences, the intercultural nature of everyday life, linguistic and cultural identity and otherness.

Submission guidelines

Paper submissions, in French or English, of around 500 words and accompanied by authors’ brief biographical details should be returned

by the 10th September 2017

to the following addresses :

Pour les propositions en français :

For the English proposals :

Decision on submissions : 15/10/2017


  • Magali Jeannin,
  • Anne-Laure Le Guern,
  • Elisabeth Schneider

Registration fee

50 euros

Publication of the conference proceedings is anticipated, details to be determined.

Scientific committee

  • Pablo Buznic-Bourgeacq, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Cathy Cohen, Université de Lyon 1
  • Sandrine Depeau, CNRS, ESO
  • Nadia Edmond, Université de Brighton
  • Jean-François Grassin, Université de Lyon 1
  • Nicolas Guichon, Université de Lyon 1
  • Magali Jeannin,  Université de Caen Normandie,
  • Magali Hardouin, Université de Rennes 2, ESPE
  • Isabelle Harlé, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Stéphanie Gasse, Université de Rouen
  • Anne-Laure Le Guern, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Xavier Michel, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Florian Ouitre, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE, 
  • Elise Ouvrard, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Ana Pinho, Universidade de Lisboa
  • Silvia Melo-Pfeifer, Université de Hambourg
  • Cédric Sarré, Université de Paris Sorbonne, ESPE de Paris,
  • Élisabeth Schneider, Université de Caen Normandie, ESPE
  • Jean-François Thémines, Université de Caen-Normandie, ESPE
  • Shona Whyte, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis

Organisation committee

  • Sonia Clouet, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Cécile Dufy, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Magali Jeannin, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Anne-Laure Le Guern, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Julia Midelet, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Florian Ouitre, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Elise Ouvrard, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Christophe Pavie, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Elisabeth Schneider, Université de Caen, ESPE
  • Olivier Sérazin, Université de Caen, ESPE

[1]    Do you suppose that you alone have had this experience? Are you surprised, as if it were a novelty, that after such long travel and so many changes of scene you have not been able to shake off the gloom and heaviness of your mind? You need a change of soul rather than a change of climate. […] What pleasure is there in seeing new lands? Or in surveying cities and spots of interest? All your bustle is useless. Do you ask why such flight does not help you? It is because you flee along with yourself. You must lay aside the burdens of the mind; until you do this, no place will satisfy you.


  • ESPE, Université de Caen - 186 rue de la Délivrande
    Caen, France (14)


  • Sunday, September 10, 2017


  • éducation, mobilité, professionnalité, identité, altérité


  • Magali Jeannin
    courriel : magali [dot] jeannin [at] unicaen [dot] fr

Information source

  • Magali Jeannin
    courriel : magali [dot] jeannin [at] unicaen [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Education and mobility », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, June 26, 2017, https://calenda.org/410180

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