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Love, rights and solidarity in the recognition of prior learning (RPL)

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This article uses Axel Honneth’s theory of Recognition to reflect upon current research that investigates non-traditional learners’ experiences of the recognition of prior learning (RPL) in the Australian vocational education sector. More specifically, it considers how to support greater engagement with and completion of RPL processes by non-traditional learners who work within the community services industry. Data are gathered through a series of semi-structured interviews with nine RPL candidates, their workplace supervisors and assessors at three stages during the RPL process and thematic analysis is undertaken using constructivist grounded methodology. Preliminary findings indicate ontological purposes of RPL and intersubjective qualities and effects of the assessment. Honneth’s theory of Recognition is used as a sensitising theory to provide an interpretive lens through which to view these findings, raising particular questions for how RPL assessment is understood and practiced with non-traditional learners.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02601370.2013.778074

Affiliations: University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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