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An application of PLAR to the development of the aboriginal self: One college’s experience

  • Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson Northlands College
Keywords: self, self-development, aboriginal identity, PLAR


Some forms of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) invite self-reflection and the generation of new knowledge leading to self-growth in granting credit for past experiential learning. This paper examines the experience of a northern Canadian community college using PLAR portfolio development to assist in individual self-growth among people of aboriginal ancestry. The author reviews the theoretical underpinning behind the notion that PLAR may be used in identity construction and reviews some of the historical circumstances affecting the development of aboriginal selves. Divergent views of participants who had completed PLAR facilitator training on portfolio development are examined. Ethical concerns are raised, and guidelines are proposed for the use of PLAR in portfolio development and identity construction.

Author Biography

Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson, Northlands College
Educational Consultant, Program Management, Northlands College
How to Cite
Robertson, L. H. (2011). An application of PLAR to the development of the aboriginal self: One college’s experience. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(1), 96-108.