RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL) FROM STUDENT’S SUBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVES

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Jeanette B. Leth

Ph.d. student

The aim of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of the experiences of recognition of prior learning as seen from students’ subjective perspectives in Denmark. It is based on my current PhD

The aim of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of the experiences of recognition of prior learning as seen from students’ subjective perspectives in Denmark. It is based on my current PhD thesis. The concept of lifelong learning has various meanings (Jarvis, P, 2012) and it can be viewed from a political, social and subjective perspective.

The aim of this project is to understand RPL students’ timing of commencement of education, choice of education, identity process and coping with being a RPL student in relation to their social and cultural background and their life history experience. The focus in this paper is subjective experiences of the RPL process as well as experiences of being a RPL student.

My research focuses on students taking the Bachelor programmes in Architectural Technology & Construction Management (ATCM) and Physiotherapy, both of which are 3½-year programmes. These were chosen on the assumption that the students’ professional knowledge and history would influence the educational culture and also for reasons of funding.

Only few (Amorim , 2013) have taken a student approach to the effects of RPL and so far there has been no study in Denmark on students admitted by RPL at either the Architectural technology and construction management- or the Physiotherapy study programs.

This paper shows initial analyses based on psycho-societal approach (Leithäuser 2013, Olesen 2013) which gives a wider understanding of the subject.

RPL-student 6 out of 7 informants did not know about RPL when they asked the counsellors informally about the possibility of admission.

All informants found the actual RPL process to be positive, but it is worth noting that they all had a successful application. They used terms like deep gratitude, being lucky, getting through the eye of the needle and relief that they did not have to do the whole of upper secondary school. RPL became an entrance to the educational system in a process that encouraged empowerment. When they started the programmes, these feelings seemed to fade into the background. They were faced with a new reality, and were not proud of being admitted on the basis of RPL.

Amorim, J.P. (2013) Da “Abertura” das Instituições de Ensino Superior a “Novos Públicos”: O Caso Português. Tese apresentada a Universidade Católica Portuguesa para obtenção do grau de Doutor em Ciências da Educação [The “Opening up” of Higher Education Institutions to the “New Public”: The Portuguese Case. Thesis presented in the Portuguese Catholic University for the degree of Doctor of Educational Sciences]. Available from:  http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jose_Pedro_Amorim/publications [Located 27.10.2015]

LEITHÄUSER, T., 2013. Psychoanalysis, Socialization and society - The psyschoanalytical thought and interpretation af Alfred Lorenzer. HSR, 2(38), pp. 56-70.

OLESEN, H.S., 2013. The societal nature of subjectivity: An interdisciplinary Methodological challenge. HSR, 38(No. 2), pp. 7-25.


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