“This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 26 number 1,
Author(s): . G. Alexander, M.M. Van Wyk, T. Bereng and I. November, " Legitimate Peripheral Participation (LPP) – The Case for Recognition of Prior Learning Sites and Knowledges in South Africa's Transforming Education System", Pages 45-52, Copyright Elsevier (January 2010)”.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
By definition and purpose, education is the development of human capital towards meeting the individual and social needs of learners and their societies. This paper seeks to establish the parallel relevance of Lave and Wenger's Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Lave & Wenger, 1990) to South Africa's post-colonial legitimation of alternative sites and enskilment canons.
Central to both is legitimation of knowledge acquisition from communities of practice or sites and ‘knowers’ (Mphahlele, 1992) ‘outside formal institutions’ of teaching/learning. Considered and termed ‘informal’ and by deduction, less legitimate for meritorious enskilment, the South African Qualifications Authority (1995, 2002) decrees a transformative paradigm and method of validating these sites and their skills production.
SAQA highlights the fact that the pedagogical approach of such sites is context- and learner-centred with demonstrable socially valuable skills. This post-colonial mandate thus centres the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) as an acknowledgement of multiple foci of skills production, decreeing their overdue certification, as in the authors' case study of the Van Wyk situation.
The approach confronts and deconstructs the colonial marginalisation of human capital from outside ‘formal’/official institutions. It is part of the ideological framework of redressing the race and class exclusion mechanisms of artisans and others from the landscape of skills possession. Van Wyk's narrative exemplify the merits of ‘outside-institutions’ learning and enskilment to various levels of complexity.
The authors concur with Lave and Wenger (1991) that the Legitimate Peripheral Participation exhibits the same elements of competent mentor, purpose of the training, systematic organisation of levels of transmitting skills, and outcomes assessment, as sites of ‘formal learning’. As in Van Wyk's case, the socially constructed de-legitimisation of apprenticeship can therefore be redressed only through equitable access to certification.
Lave and Wenger, 1990 J. Lave and E. Wenger, Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (1990).
Lave and Wenger, 1991 J. Lave and E. Wenger, Situated learning: legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK (1991).
Mphahlele, 1992 E. Mphahlele, From the dean's desk: education in New South Africa. In: M. Takalo, Editor, Education Journal of the Faculty of Education, University of the North, South Africa (1992), pp. 2–5.
South African Qualifications Authority, 1995 South African Qualifications Authority, Regulations governing the activities of education and training quality assurance bodies (ETQAs) Government Gazette, 18221, Government Printers, Pretoria (1995).
South African Qualifications Authority, 2002 South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), The development, implementation and quality assurance of RPL systems, programs and services by ETQA's, assessors and providers – a discussion document, Government Printers, Pretoria (2002).