Generally recognised that learning is done in all areas of life
In non formal environments (home, play, relaxation etc.)
In more formal environments (workplace, community projects)
in definite formal learning environments (school, college, university).
Yeaxlee (1929: p. 155) states:
“ Much adult education will never know itself as such, and will be recognized only by leaders and teachers of real insight. It will go on in clubs, churches, cinemas, theatres, concert rooms, trade unions, political societies, and in homes of the people where there are books, newspapers, music, wireless sets, workshops, gardens and groups of friends”
Learning done in all of these areas is valuable and could be utilised by students to fulfil programme requirements
This could be a valid method of continuous learning
We propose the concept of the recognition of previous, current and future ‘lifeplace’ learning as valid learning and of using it to attain accreditation and qualifications.
The learning environment is termed the ‘lifeplace’ and includes all of these areas.
Learning done in the lifeplace can be accredited in HE
Might enhance the flexible concept of learning and be useful for the diverse range of students now accessing, or interested in accessing, higher education
Will allow credit for things that interest and for everyday knowledge/experience vital for society to function and progress .
Lifeplace Learning consists of two parts:
The possibility of accreditation and recognition of academic or non-academic knowledge learned in non-academic environments or not forming part of academic studies in academic environments whether from past or current experience or from future studies
Using lifeplace environments for learning and the techniques, resources and tools for study within these environments.
Leadbetter (2000) “ …More learning needs to be done at home, in offices and kitchens, in the contexts where knowledge is deployed to solve problems and add value to people’s lives.”
Learning already does go on in these places it is just the recognition of it and its value that is in question.
Coffield (2000) suggests that even with all of the talk of lifelong learning and the learning society “…the focus remains on formal provision, qualifications and accountability.”
Lifeplace Learning accreditation opens doors to the diverse range of learners in society today and the push currently to have a more inclusive educated society.
Allows people who cannot or do not wish to attend university to achieve valuable qualifications (valued by society) and to have the knowledge and skills that they value recognised by society.
This will also increase confidence in own abilities and consequently encourage further learning.
“ Formal learning tales place in education and training institutions leading to recognised diplomas and qualifications
Non –formal learning takes place alongside the mainstream systems of education and training and does not typically lead to formal certification, e.g. learning and training activities undertaken in the workplace, voluntary sector or trade union and through community-based learning
Informal learning is experiential learning and takes place through life and work experiences. It is often unintentional learning. The learner may not recognise at the time of the experience that it contributed to the development of their skills and knowledge. This recognition may only happen retrospectively through the RPL process, unless the experiences take place as part of a planned experiential or work –based learning programme.” (SCQF)
Lindman (1926: 4-7) suggested that:
Education is life
Adult education should be non vocational
We should start with situations and not subjects
We must use the learner’s experience.
Yeaxlee ( 1929) says learning in adulthood needs to be prepared for right from the start of our learning careers particularly encouragement of continuous education in primary and secondary education
“… adult education … is as inseparable from normal living as food and physical exercise. Life, to be vivid , and strong, and creative, demands constant reflection upon experience, … while work and leisure are blended in perfect exercise of ‘body, mind and spirit, personality attaining completion in society”.
The fact that people learn in different ways also has to be taken into consideration - “ Without noticing, we are unconsciously learning”
Nakayama suggests that we are learning automatically as we live our live, whilst walking around…subconscious learning could be considered an efficient way to absorb elements.
If we are learning all of the time in any environment and we do not have to “pay attention” to learn then why should academia restrict the gathering of the knowledge to that which is taught on campus
If we do absorb information subconsciously then is this information not as valid as that taught to us or from which we get from books?
Lifeplace Learning is:
“ any learning done throughout life, in any environment, for whatever reason or however learned”
Society must recognise the value of this and that this learning can be recognised in a formal manner at an appropriate level.
Who dictates that what academia holds out as valuable is more valuable than everyday life knowledge, that motherhood knowledge is not worthy of formal recognition or less valuable than engineering, that what is learned through experience in the home is less valuable than what one learns at college, or that taught learning is more valuable than self-taught .
The fact is that we learn throughout life.
We gain knowledge from official and formal sources such as school and university and books but we also learn from other sources and in other ways too.
We learn from experience, we learn from our peers and from custom, habit and from socialising.
We learn from watching television even when we do not officially recognise that we are learning.
This knowledge is invaluable in the way that we get through life.
Extensive literature searches reveal no major studies relating to formalisation of learning in the lifeplace or accreditation of the knowledge gained from previous, current or future life-based study.
Lifeplace learning represents learning and knowledge which derives from the motivation and interest of the learner and involves learning through learner negotiation with the educator.
Lifeplace learning is integral to everyday living environments and hence the blend of explicit and tacit knowledge combined with knowledge based skills will complement and underpin global society alongside that achieved by conventional on-campus learning
There is a variety of activities that the person is involved in which all involve learning and therefore knowledge creation, some of which is from formal learning activities, some from informal, some which is conscious, some subconscious, some tacit and some explicit.
The education systems that we currently have put the emphasis on the formal, explicit, conscious learning done it a formal on-campus or formal off-campus environment
Lifeplace learning captures the ‘other’ knowledge; sub-conscious nor normally accepted as valuable learning and the conscious, tacit which is not usually accredited.
This is life knowledge, that we gain through experience and practice, that we choose to learn for interest or need to learn to carry out life activities.
Lifeplace Learning is an attempt to bring to
education a process for recognising and accrediting
all knowledge irrespective of where or why it is
gained or its type.
By enabling the accreditation of all knowledge we can
value not only the knowledge but the learner too.
Since the world revolves and continues to operate by
the combining of knowledge types and utilising all the
information sources that we have why should only
some be capable of accreditation within an education
system that proposes to be for the 21st century
Education systems have to change from the earliest
Parents must begin to show that there is value in what we do in our life learning from the start of a child’s life.
Proper standards need to be adhered to if a qualification is required to ensure its credibility
If such a concept was to be adopted training for staff would be important.