Handbook of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning)

I can really recommend following book if you want to know more about the recogniton of prior learning or as it is also called the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

The link to the PDF for free:


A big thank you to NIACE and the editors of the book to share it for free!

What does it contain?

I addresses several issues around validating. I especially appreciate following chapters:

  • Advances in theorising RPL by Judy Harris
  • Exploring the learner experience of RPL by Helen Pokorny and Ruth Whittaker
  • Technology and RPL by Roslyn Cameron, Nan L. Travers, Christine Wihak

For further investigating VNIL it seems essential to me to better understand learning theories on which VNIL is based on. Following theoretical trends in RPL are identified by Judy Harris:

  • adult and esperiential learning theory (eg. Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, which has a somewhat individualistic and rationals notion of learning and reflection)
  • Other forms of constructivism (including Vygotsky’s social development theory and situated learning)
  • critical theory
  • postmodernism: “Experience is not transparent, but shaped by ‘discourse and scoiality’; knowlege is not abstract and universal but situated, embodied and realtional.” – there are different knowledge cultures except for the academic knowledge culture and RPL should be place where they can meet – Elana Michelson’s work is addressing these aspects (Harris 2014, p. 50) Also Fejes (2008) agues that “relfection is not a neutral or apolitical practice” (ibid.)
  • recognition theory
  • socio-materialism
  • social realism


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *