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    Re-cognising RPL – A Deleuzian enquiry into policy and practice of Recognition of Prior Learning

    Finn, Winifred Josephine Marian (2019) Re-cognising RPL – A Deleuzian enquiry into policy and practice of Recognition of Prior Learning. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This enquiry addresses a gap in the literature in relation to the conceptual development of Recognition of Prior Learning. Generally, research in RPL comprises large inventories and audits of practice as this enquiry shows. Few qualitative studies are available and there is a dearth of theoretical development in the field. This thesis explores perspectives of claimants and university managers/practitioners to explicate the issues at stake and explore the value of RPL in education. Using the practical philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (DG), the conceptualization of RPL is explored in policy and practice and their concepts are employed to reimagine RPL for learning, and as pedagogy, in adult university education. A hybrid method of grounded and rhizomatic theory informs the research approach. This involves searching the complex and diffuse territory of RPL to seek affirmative options for RPL theory and practice. Three case studies illustrate how different approaches to RPL offer different outcomes and were built on vague conceptualizations. In one setting, fifteen years of RPL claimant records is collated and analysed. Findings show that up to 70% of adult students in the case study had prior learning and gained exemptions. The data further indicates that RPL did not increase a student’s chances of completing a degree. This contradicts findings from international research. The research also challenges fears expressed by university managers that RPL poses a risk to academic standards, as claimants may not have foundational knowledge to succeed in university. The data indicates, however, that on the contrary, claimants have extensive prior learning; much of it accredited at levels 6 and 7 and are thus college ready. A model of learner directed RPL, used in another setting, is explored and theorized. This creative approach seamlessly integrates prior learning with new learning and thereby advances knowledge for the learner. The impact of the approach on the learner and learning is significant and offers new possibilities for RPL in education. It moves it on from the narrow purpose of reducing time in education and enhancing skills for employment. Accounts from participants in this enquiry show that they go to college to learn and they prize RPL most when it extends their knowledge – a dimension of RPL neglected in the literature. The thesis concludes with some affirmative options for re-cognising RPL in adult education.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: RPL; Deleuzian enquiry; policy; practice; Prior Learning;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 11167
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 16:14
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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