The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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The practice of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in the education of adults seeks to affirm and accredit the knowledge and skills which they have already attained in the course of their working lives. This monograph explores the implementation of RPL in a programme designed to upgrade tens of thousands of under-qualified teachers and finds a baffling dilemma: how does one value prior learning which one believes to be misguided, outdated, or inappropriate?

Case studies of the implementation of RPL in the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) at three universities present interesting approaches to the conundrum and reveal the importance of phronesis, or practical wisdom, in considerations of RPL.

This form of knowledge and of reasoning enables the individual to navigate the complexities of daily living in the light of a strong sense of morality and community. Formal recognition of phronesis may not be possible, but including the concept in the curriculum of a teacher upgrading programme may help to make the RPL component more effective and meaningful.

The RPL Conundrum is part of the Teacher Education in South Africa series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners.

A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.

Product information

Format : 280mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 144
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2220-9
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2220-5
Publish Year : 2008
Rights : World Rights

1 INTRODUCTION

  • Rationale for the study
  • Research design
  • Limitations of the study
  • Structure of the report

2 THE NATIONAL PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMA IN EDUCATION (NPDE)

  • Numbers of under-qualified teachers
  • The qualification
  • Recognition of prior learning in the NPDE
  • Research on RPL in the NPDE
  • Papers on the NPDE
  • Conclusion

3 RECOGNISING PRIOR LEARNING: THE ROLE OF REFLECTION

  • Reflection in teacher education
  • Reflection in the recognition of prior learning
  • 'Experience' and RPL in higher education in South Africa
  • Reflection in RPL in teacher upgrading: the conundrum
  • Conclusion

4 RPL IN THE NPDE AT UNISA

  • The recognition of prior learning at UNISA
  • RPL in the NPDE at UNISA
  • Conclusion

5 THE PROBLEM OF 'REFLECTION' IN THE UNISA NPDE

  • The importance of reflection
  • The most common problem: reflection
  • The case of Ms T and Ms P
  • Reflection on the teachers' reflections

6 THROUGHPUT ISSUES at UNISA

  • The results
  • The experience of an NPDE student
  • Some observations on Ms T's experiences

7 RPL IN THE NPDE AT UNIVERSITY OF LIMPOPO

  • The official recruitment of prior learning
  • Trends in the articulation of teaching/learning experiences
  • Academics' opinions about RPL in the NPDE
  • The prior learning of Ms B
  • The prior learning of Ms J and Ms U
  • The portfolio process in general
  • Conclusions

8 RPL IN THE NPDE AT THE NELSON MANDELA METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY

  • The official recruitment of prior learning
  • Reflections of three NMMU NPDE graduates
  • The prior learning of Ms N
  • The prior learning of Mr M
  • The prior learning of Mr R
  • RPL experiences of other teachers at the same school
  • The NPDE support network
  • Conclusions

9 WHAT KIND OF KNOWLEDGE?

  • The love and endurance of Ms T
  • The innovativeness and compassion of Ms N
  • The independence and responsibility of Mr M
  • The ingenuity and endurance of Mr R
  • A teacher educator's view
  • What are we talking about here?
  • Horizontal and vertical discourse
  • A three part distinction?
  • Practical wisdom

10 THE CONUNDRUM, THE COMPROMISE AND PRACTICAL WISDOM

  • The conundrum
  • The compromise
  • Practical wisdom
  • Recommendations

Dr Mignonne Breier is a chief research specialist in the Education, Sciences and Skills Development research programme of the HSRC.

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