Prior Learning Assessment Interview With Nan Tavers   Leave a comment

            The Prior Learning Assessment interview with Nan Tavers has shaped my understanding of PLA. I have a much clearer idea of what the foundation of the program entails and a deeper understanding of why an adult learner would chose to go down this path. I see it as a way to relate theories to practice and apply practice to the theory. It is about reflecting on what I am attempting and doing. It’s about looking at theories and rethinking them while seeing a new perspective and new possibilities.

            I have a more clearly defined understanding of two areas in which I may wish to apply for PLA. I would apply for the informal learning credits based on gender and sexual identity. In my opinion, our society has been misled and misinformed regarding gender. We have men and women as a start. There are other genders that do not fall into the binary system. They are the   transgenders: male to females and female to males, intersexed male, intersexed female, and androgynous.

            One area of my rationale for my application will incorporate gender and concepts within learning, the association with gender and the lifelong learning theory, and the connection of gender and how experiences form their learning. The Queer theory is about social change and confronting the power structure of heternormativity. According to Brookfield (2011), “In recent years, Queer theory has increasingly entered the field’s discourse enjoining adult educators to consider how people constantly learn to construct, dismantle and reconstruct sexual identity, and how they understand and practice desire” (p. 78).

            Furthermore, my second area for my rationale will be on sexual identity. What are the barriers for those adult learners? James & Lambley (2011) reported, “Fewer than one in five LGB and/or T learners responding to the survey stated that they had at some time encountered barriers to taking up an adult learning opportunity: 11.9% due to their sexual orientation, and 6.8% due to their gender identity” (p.29). What are the learning developments? Are they different from being “out” and still being in the closet?

            I feel that I would be comfortable in teaching adult learners about sexual identity and gender and the connections it has with learning based on my experiential experiences. I understand more about being an adult learner and the PLA program after reviewing all the articles and watching this interview.


James, D. & Lambley, C. (2011). Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Adult Learning. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from

Brookfield, S. (2011). Emerging Voices in Adult Education. PAACE Journal of LifelongLearning, 20, 73-88. Retrieved October 3, 2013, from

State University of New York Empire State College. (n.d). Prior Learning Assessment Interview with Nan Travers. Retrieved from:



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