Beyond Embedded Knowledge: Rethinking practical and epistemological relations between workplace and academic knowledges

Susan Shore, Gary Fry, Lorraine Sushames, John Frawley

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review

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    This paper explores the intellectual and practical work of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) prompted by higher education-industry partnerships between a dual sector university and a range of industry partners including schools, registered training organisations (RTOS) and non-government agencies (NGOs) in Australian and international contexts. Many educational workers in these organisations are facing institutional, administrative and theoretical pressure to conform to national and international quality assurance demands underpinned by national curricula, training packages and performance audits, increased workforce casualisation; high degrees of mobility in some geographic regions and the effects of neoliberal market discourse on their time, employment remuneration, and pedagogies. Concurrently education sectors are recognising that lifelong and lifewide learning require better communication across sectors in recognising and fostering learning and leadership pathways. Nevertheless a neoliberal context increasingly positions the academic work of cross-sectoral recognition within a language of cross-sectoral trading of hours, learning objectives, learning outcomes and assessment practices. An original premise of RPL – recognising informal and non-formal knowledges and learning – has lost traction in this culture of recognising and trading. The dilution of this original goal of RPL is particularly relevant to work in a dual sector university in Northern Australia given the population diversity and the educational leadership qualities and capabilities required to promote Indigenous knowledges, pedagogies and cultural practices intricately associated with, yet often ignored in, national imaginaries such as Australian schooling, Australian leadership and Australian training. Drawing on experiences from a university funded project to articulate RPL more clearly at the postgraduate level, we provide an overview of recognition of prior learning literature experienced in two occupational cases with school leaders/teachers and practitioners who build adult language literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills across vocational training , workplace and community sites. The paper illustrates the importance of working with regulatory texts such as the Australian Qualifications Framework that facilitates pathways and recognition of diverse knowledges. In particular pre-design issues are emphasised as a way of facilitating better collaboration between sectors and systems in order that education systems and universities might be more responsive to employment, career and professional growth in the context of increasingly constrained education labor markets and professional development opportunities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, Singapore
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    PublisherGovernment of Singapore
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventInternational Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL 2015 9th) - Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
    Duration: 9 Dec 201511 Dec 2015
    Conference number: 2015 (9th)


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Researching Work and Learning (RWL 2015 9th)
    Abbreviated titleRWL


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