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Acknowleding informal learning through diplomas Questions raised by the French system for acknowledgment of experiential learning Innovative Prüfungs-

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Presentation on theme: "Acknowleding informal learning through diplomas Questions raised by the French system for acknowledgment of experiential learning Innovative Prüfungs-"— Presentation transcript:

1 Acknowleding informal learning through diplomas Questions raised by the French system for acknowledgment of experiential learning Innovative Prüfungs- und Bewertungsverfahren in der Berfusbildung, Bonn, 14. Juni 2006 Frank Billot, Céreq

2 2 Acknowleding experience Relevance of the subjectR The french system as a pretextT Assessing experience entails forming judgments by dealing with multiple references The central question is that of the status of practice, activities and vocations in VET

3 3 The French system Recognising experience by delivering a whole diploma without having to undergo formal training On account of experiential learning acquired through work activities and others Dossier and questions: not an exam, no justification, no suggestion or orientation Institutions delivering diplomas in charge of the acknowledgment A loose legal framework: learning should match competencies certified by the diploma as reference

4 4 A study of jurys’activities Joint study with ENESAD over accounts of jury's discussions and dossiers’ structure Hypothesis of an evaluation activity Academic ressources –Referentials of activity, formation and competencies Ressources from other domains –Technical, vocational, business, social,… A fuzzy and uneasy activity of value ascribing: –How to define what value is, what has value

5 5 A predominant framework Diploma and level of education as weltanschauung The search for transversal competencies –Capacity to abstract the principles from specific situations –Dealing with situation classes rather than with specifics –Autonomy from local contexts and practices Education’s implicit hierarchy: general and scientific education above all Vocational education left with few means to describe its criteria autonomously from academic criteria What room for vocations to express their expectations and build a reference framework ?

6 6 What’s the matter then ? LLL context: emphasis on learning-performance link, innovation, change, adaptability And beyond, emphasis on employability Informal learning, in search of recognition and legitimacy: Something happens inside work that may matter for learning and organisational performance Second chance ? What chances for the misfits of the education system if we use the same standards again ?

7 7 Why is there an informal learning problem ? What does not work with education/formation systems ? Why does it matter to actually practice ? What does working together add up that education and training would not provide ? Do they produce ‘competencies’ ? Are their competencies in line with what one gets from experience ? That which is valuable in professional action, can it be recognised through categories stemming from activities?

8 8 LLL in french context Education: The noble side of learning, emancipation through knowledge, against utilitarism Formation: Results and performance oriented, adaptation to the job, potentials’ development (HRM) Learning: A forgotten dimension, the relation to action and situations –Education cannot be insulated from dealing and making sense of situations; it is not disembodied –Acting is not just ‘performing’, it means dealing concretely with situations and people, relating and making sense

9 9 The status of activity for learning So what ? Beyond the french case… The trend: less room as ever for activity –increasing dominance of general education ? –With EQF are we heading towards expertise levels or levels of education ? –operational level submitted to organisational and strategic levels –Beruf/métiers seen as an anachronism, a hindrance to flexibility and learning …risks of loosing contact with the reality of activities

10 10 Questions on learning, situations If learning is related to practice, and not merely to formal training (not to mention memorising abstract principles) –The conditions of practice are to be considered : work situations, collective settings If competencies are linked to the practice of work situations –Being competent entails knowing how to make sense of situations, –Learning outcomes should take in account the ways people understand and deal with situations and should not be reduced to tasks If situations are not determined by their technical features –Because they entail understanding what is at stake in a social context and learning how to handle things and people –Because they are socially defined, as are performance expectations or legitimate practices

11 11 …and collectives If, thus, intelligence of situations is developped among collectives making collective practices the repository for professional standards, And the locus where professions can be maintained, re- produced and developed…

12 12 Then… Cultures developed among vocations are the condition for the development of competencies and of organisational performance Work in local settings contributes to the structuration of professional behavior –it is specific, workers are not interchangeable units –The shopfloor is the natural locus where to define competencies –Competencies cannot be measured as objects, rather evaluated against collective and diverse expectations –The main challenge is to find ways to articulate local and vocational understanding and handling (practices) of situations

13 13 At the crossroads of work and training in the realm of activity, from where learning stems A need for recognition beyond organisational limits Notably with regards to employability and mobility Which requires a social framework Provided by education systems, through diplomas as central references

14 14 Food for thought This is not a detailed presentation of the french system It is a local system inscripted in a national framework Maybe disappointing regarding its formal characteristics An exemplary case

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