- Chaib, Christina, et al.
Towards a Substantial Notion of Validation
Ingår i: Adult Learning : The Third Nordic Conference on Adult Learning: Communication, Collaboration and Creativity, 22 - 24 Arpil, 2009.
- The main purpose of our study is concerned with the pervasive concept of validation of knowledge and competencies extensively used in Europe today. We believe that the wide diversity of the methods used as well as their theoretical supports is many times confusing and sometimes contradictory.The OECD formulated in 1996, a strategy to make the lifelong learning a reality for all. That included, the creation of new instruments for validation of knowledge and competencies. The European commission supported this strategy for lifelong learning in their memorandum from 2000. The Commission stressed the need for a lifelong learning strategy; build on, active citizenship, increased employment, and mobility within Europe. The strategy is expected to facilitate the development of systems and methods that assert education and competencies as necessary tools for development, accepted by workplaces and institutions. Since that period strategies and methods for validation have been extensively developed and tested in the European arena.Within the European Universities Lifelong Education Network, EUCEN we are, together with many European partners, involved in an Observatory of validation. Our work consists of gathering information, scrutinizing validation processes and assessing different texts about validation. In our understanding validation, neither as a concept nor as a phenomenon, is interpreted in a common way among people who are in a professional way working with validation.Despite or maybe because of the broad variety of “validation processes” going on in Sweden there is confusing understanding of what validation really consists of. There are many reasons why individuals want to be submitted to validation, risking to loose job, wanting a new job, to start to study or even to get a higher income. We have also seen that sometimes the ambition to validate candidates comes from the industry, especially when a certain job has a low status. We are asking the question whether all these experiences really can be identified and labelled as validation?The aim of our study is to conduct a critical analysis of validation as concept and phenomenon. In the text we will present two or three different processes of validation and interpret them in relation to both the Swedish official definition of validation and also related to the two goals declared by The European commission, and mentioned above. A main question for our study is: Can validation be seen as a solution to all problems or do we need more sophisticated concepts, that are giving support and guidance for a true and substantial validation?