Validation of Prior Learning as a Lever for Lifelong Learning: Life Experience and Competence Development

Henning Salling Olesen*, KIrsten Aagaard, Bodil Husted

*Corresponding author

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This article places validation of prior learning (VPL) as a tool for a general implementation of lifelong learning. It points out the contradiction between a normal biographical understanding of learning and the demands of accelerating societal development, but at the same time criticizes the tendency towards conceptual instrumentalization in this context, narrowing to the significance for work life. Instead, a broader concept is defined for the learner subject's development of competencies in all areas of life based on life historical experiences. Next, a more theoretical psycho-social understanding of learning processes as reconfigurations of life experiences is reviewed. Finally, it points out the need to develop methods for recognizing all learning processes, which helps to promote competence development based on subjective needs.
Translated title of the contributionLivserfaring og kompetenceudvikling. : Kompetencevurdering som bidrag til livslang læring
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDimensions of validation of prior learning in Europe. : Empirical insights
EditorsEva Anslinger, Bodil Husted, ôzlem Unluhisarcıklı, Franziska Laudenbach, Aleksandra Lis
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

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