Slipping the Chains of Credentialism
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The assessment of prior learning (APL) has normally been associated with the attainment of credentials. Those of us involved in APL have always known that there is far more prior learning present with any learner than can be assessed for credit. Many of us have been so busy trying to convince the credentialing system of the legitimacy of experiential learning that we may have neglected the basic developmental processes that underlie us as whole persons and that contribute to the resilience and quality of life of both ourselves as educators and our learners. Many of our APL learners are involved in life transitions of which the attainment of credentials is only part. Almost all learners are involved in life’s daily lessons. The ability to identify and travel on one’s own best life pathway is a lifelong undertaking and challenge. To the extent that we create a self-reflective space for the experiential learning associated with this type of development, then we will have contributed more fully to our learners as whole persons. This sounds like a big mouthful, perhaps more than we can chew. However, we need more discussion on the potential contribution that the APL process affords to the personal and professional development of our learners. This session will explore opportunities and limitations of a deeper and more comprehensive review of prior experiential learning than that normally associated with the credentialing process.