David Starr-Glass

PLA and Transformational Potential: Reflections Through the Prism of Appreciative Inquiry

David Starr-Glass


Prior learning assessment has provided significant advantages for all educational stakeholders. It normally focuses on end-products, such as academic equivalents, which accelerate degree completion and allow for more effective use of institutional. Assessment of prior experience produces useful instrumental products; however, these are only part of a greater potential that is untapped when candidates reflect on prior experience. Critical reflection empowers the candidate by legitimizing past performance, provides a base for current learning, and facilitates personal transformation. This transformative potential is not only restricted to the candidate but is more widely available. While end-products are valuable, approaching the PLA process through Appreciate Inquiry suggests other significant and presently under-utilized potentials. Suggestions are presented for tapping into this potential by resituating, re-scripting, and recruiting PLA in the broader institutional community of knowledge.

Key words: assessment, learning, potential, prior experience, reflection, transformation

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