Michael Bernhard
Lecturer & Research Associate

In my research, teaching and practice, I have been interested in understanding and supporting the learning of adults, particularly in settings beyond pedagogical institutions. As a member of the Doing Transitions research group, I focus my PhD research on studying learning processes during life course transitions in the context of migration and mobility, drawing on pragmatist and praxeological concepts. Further, I have been researching and teaching in the area of work-integrated learning, organizational development, and community-engaged scholarship.

My roles prior to joining the Department of Adult and Further Education at Goethe University in 2021 include leadership in the non-profit and for-profit sectors in Canada, USA and France, as well as positions in community service-learning and social work at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, Canada.

After obtaining a degree in physiotherapy from the Medical School of Bad Salzungen (Germany) in 2000, I studied education, psychology and philosophy at Hagen University (Germany), obtaining a B.A. in 2003 and M.A. in 2011.

Publications and Conference Presentations

  • Bernhard, M. (accepted). Doing migration in adulthood: Learning to engage with the Canadian Experience discourse. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education. (peer reviewed)
  • Bernhard, M. & Van Daele, C. (accepted). Practice architecture in community development: Mapping traditions in learning and action. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education. (peer reviewed)
  • Bernhard, M. (2022). Boundary experiences in Canada: 'Doing migration' and the role of adult education. Der Pädagogische Blick, 30(1), 6-18.  (peer reviewed)
  • Hof, C. & Bernhard, M. (2022). Übergänge als Anlass für Lernprozesse. In S. Andresen, P. Bauer, B. Stauber, & A. Walther (Hrsg.), Doing Transitions – die Hervorbringung von Übergängen im Lebenslauf: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 68. Beiheft (S. 181–194). Beltz. (peer reviewed)
  • Bernhard, M. (2022). Experience and transitions: A relational perspective on migration in adulthood. Paper presentation with the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Conference theme: ‘Transitions.’
  • Bernhard, M. (2022). Learning by Doing Migration: Temporal Dimensions of Life Course Transitions. Paper presentation at the 12th International Researching Work & Learning Conference (RWL12) at the University of Toronto (OISE), themed ‘Work, Learning & Social Change.’
  • Bernhard, M. & Hof, C. (2022). Lernen in der Krise: Mögliche Anschlüsse an nicht-westliche Theorieangebote. Beitrag zur Jahrestagung der Sektion Erwachsenenbildung der DGfE. Konferenzthema: Re-Konstruktionen. Krisenthematisierungen in der Erwachsenenbildung. [Learning during crisis: The heuristic potential of non-Western perspectives, presented at the annual conference of the Adult Education section of the German Educational Research Association]
  • Bernhard, M. (2022). Encountering a new rulebook: Migrant engagement with the 'Canadian experience' discourse. Paper presentation at the ESREA conference on ‘Encountering the other: biographies, spaces and relationships in adult education.’
  • Bernhard, M. (2022). The messy crossings of national boundaries in adulthood. Paper presentation at the annual congress of the German Society for Education (DGfE).

Courses offered

  • Courses of the current term are listed here.
  • Organisational development and social responsibility (B.A., Fall 2022)
  • "Non-western" perspectives on the learning of adults (B.A., Fall 2022)
  • Community Development: On the quest for communical learning spaces (M.A., Spring 2023)
  • Introduction to the pedagogy of adult age: Learning of adults (B.A., Spring 2023)
  • Life course transitions in adulthood and lifelong learning (B.A.)
  • Adult education in the context of migration and mobility (B.A.)
  • Informeal learning from a pragmatist and practice theory perspective (M.A.)