"Values" statements



Summary of findings

Monica Collins
Nall Project


Commonalities Among Stakeholders
Commonalities Stakeholders
Cautiously optimistic acceptance of PLAR by partners All
No expansive claims of benefits All
Trust is absolutely essential to PLAR process All
PLAR provides access to formal education system for individuals and groups normally excluded (mature students, aboriginals, etc.) All
Portfolio/self-assessment incorporated into PLAR process builds self-esteem Small Business, School Boards, Equity Groups, Credit Unions
Recognition of prior learning results in pride, confidence, motivation Small Business, School Boards, Equity Groups
Recognition of prior learning helps with employee retention, increases individuals' interest in learning and ability of organization to be a learning organization Small Business, Large Business

Specific Values Identified by Partners
Values Stakeholders
PLAR builds key learning analysis and decision making skills Small Business
Commitment to employee development is equated with a commitment to provide high quality goods and services Small Business
PLAR brings benefits to employees and companies by forging new links between their private training programs and the system of public learning Large Business
PLAR potential to increase mobility to employees between public/private systems welcome Education
Both program and individual evaluation has significant results Credit Union/Professional Association

Identified Risks and Concerns
Risks Stakeholders
Need for increased cooperation between all players, including the learner All
The degree of interaction required between all players will be thwart with difficulties All
Costs–savings invisible, costs poorly distributed All
Interest rather than commitment on the part of education systems Education
Lack of willingness of colleagues to work systematically on skills/procedures involved in making the evaluations functional  Education
Lack of demand for PLAR Education
Employers' use of PLAR possibly resulting in incresed use of formal credentials which may or may not be relevant to the job Labour
Need for easier access for employees not to credentialing but to learning opportunities that the sector finds difficult to provide Small Business
Complexity of current PLAR processes Small Business
Lack of clarity in communication/expectations Small Business
Who is responsible for naming the learning? Determining the validity of knowledge Aboriginals, Equity Group

"Knowledge is local, interested, relational. It is created by active human groups in the process of sustaining the human world. It is socially and historically situated, that is, always embedded within the matrix of social relationships and social activity - all knowledge is situated knowledge." Michelson, 1996, p. 191.
"We must be careful that we do not fall into the trap of using PLA to legitimize knowledge and skills that reassembles the academic norm and which extends the academy's traditional gate-keeping function of barring alternative cultures of knowledge and calibrates the legitimacy of students' knowledge according to sameness and correspondence." Michelson, 1996, p. 193.

The public education system is a closed system with the power and autonomy to determine whether to permit access and on what terms to do so to each non-traditional learner. The impact of admission of students of diverse backgrounds on student composition and formal educational system is significant because of the balance of power. Who can do what to continue to break down the walls?

What are the values and technical problems which impede progress in increased cooperation between all players?

What can be done to resolve the cost issues?

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