Cracking The Code: Accreditation Of Prior Experiential Learning And The Discourses Of Higher Education

Peters, Helen (2004). Cracking The Code: Accreditation Of Prior Experiential Learning And The Discourses Of Higher Education. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000c0ac

Abstract

This thesis seeks to examine the process of Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) in a university in the CK, in order to discover how it is working. The starting premise is that APEL generally is not fulfilling expectations in terms of either benefiting students or widening participation. Nor has it taken on the emancipatory role, attributed to it by some of its promoters, of opening up institutions of higher education in terms of the control of knowledge and the recognition of knowledge gained in contexts outside the academy. The approach taken to the research is qualitative, focusing on a single institution in some detail, with the researcher central to the process. Data take the form of documentation produced by the institution, taped seminars, texts produced by students and interviews with lecturers and students. All data are defined as texts and are analysed using Critical Discourse Analysis and Systemic Functional Linguistics. The conclusions find that the discoursal practices of the academy and the social structures they represent and create constitute a constraint on the potential of APEL as an instrument for broadening the recognition of different types and sources of knowledge. Different approaches to assessment for APEL are proposed, drawing on experience and theory developed elsewhere.

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