RPL as Specialised Pedagogy

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Internationally, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has become a standard component of education policy reforms aimed at meeting the requirements of a globalized labor market on the one hand, while responding to demands for widening access to further and higher education on the other. However, despite the promises of RPL to enable ‘optimal inclusion’, this ideal is not easily realized in practice. Drawing on case study research of RPL practices in four different contexts in South Africa, RPL as Specialized Pedagogy: Crossing the Lines offers a novel theoretical framework for understanding RPL not simply as an assessment practice, but as a specialized pedagogy for navigating knowledge boundaries across different contexts.


Linda Cooper is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where she teaches on the Adult Education program. She has acted as an education advisor to the trade union movement, and is a member of International Advisory Board of Researching Work and Learning Conference. Alan Ralphs is an education specialist and researcher at the University of the Western Cape with a focus on the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). He currently runs the Portfolio Development Course at UWC and has been involved in RPL-related research since 2006.