Understanding the transformative dimension of RPL

Susan Whittaker, Ruth Whittaker, Paula Cleary

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    This chapter analyses the transformative process of RPL in terms of changes of identity which emerged through the EU-funded Socrates project, APEL and Social inclusion: the learner’s perspective. This project researched learner’s experiences of the RPL process through interviews with learners and staff within universities and colleges across 5 European countries. The processes through which RPL acts as a transformative mechanism are theorised by drawing on the principles of symbolic interactionism, social identity theory and situated learning. This represents an original approach to understanding identity transformation, an under-researched but important by-product of RPL, through applying symbolic interactionism and social identity theory to the location of identity in a social context. The editors consider that the outcomes of this analysis have wider implications in terms of the theory and practice of lifelong learning. The outcomes of this project led to further European funding for the Valex project.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRe-Theorising the Recognition of Prior Learning
    Place of PublicationLeicester
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Print)1862012652
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


    • learner's experiences
    • lifelong learning
    • RPL
    • prior learning


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