School of Built Environment & Development Studies

Architecture Academic Launches Book on Prior Learning in Post-Apartheid SA

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Architecture lecturer Dr Yashaen Luckan has launched a new book titled: The Recognition of Prior Learning in Post-Apartheid South Africa: An Alternative Pedagogy for Transformation of the Built Environment Professions.

The primary objective of the book is to define the rationale and conceptual development process of an innovative recognition of the prior learning (RPL) model as a transformative mechanism for the upskilling of historically disadvantaged people in post-apartheid South Africa.

‘Apartheid education left the masses of South Africa impoverished due to exclusive barriers of access and articulation in higher and professional education,’ said Luckan. ‘Professional education in the post-apartheid era continues to grapple with the challenges of inherited systems of education and training that continue to exclude the historically disadvantaged population, severely compromising redress and transformation.’

This book responds to a critical problem – a lacuna wherein a critical mass of historically disadvantaged people continue to face exclusion by entrenched systems in professional education and training. RPL is seen as a transformative strategy to oppose the injustices of pedagogic exclusion and upskill a marginalised population. The book makes a strong case for an alternate system based on the potentiality of transformed legislation and frameworks in post-apartheid South Africa.

Focusing on literature and case studies from higher education and built environment studies, it defines the rationale and fundamental principles of an innovative model for the evaluation of RPL, developed by Luckan, which can be adapted and applied across disciplines and professions while promoting high quality standards.

The book will be of interest to researchers in alternative pedagogies, scholars engaged with epistemologies of the South and alternative knowledge systems, legislative bodies, policy-makers and facilitators of professional education.

Said Luckan: ‘The book appeals to academic Institutions that seek to implement RPL in their academic programmes; professionals in need of upskilling or their staff who require upskilling; regulatory bodies that require a model for the evaluation of RPL for professional articulation; students in need of stop-in stop-out learning due to economic and social challenges. The appeal of the book in the developing world is based on its focus on socio-economic reform of marginalised communities wherein the need for access to higher education, and articulation through mid-career upskilling, are major areas of concern.’

The book is on sale through Routledge (Taylor and Francis). 

Luckan is an academic, researcher and practising architect. As a proponent of interdisciplinary praxis, his research includes alternate methodologies of thinking and practice for socio-economic redress and spatial transformation in the Global South. In this regard, he is actively engaged with knowledge and skills development of historically marginalised communities. Luckan’s research focuses on two distinct, yet interrelated fields: the transformation of architectural pedagogy, and humanistic urbanism. He is currently engaged in ground-breaking work in the recognition of prior learning and alternative learning pathways, while critiquing entrenched modes of thinking and practice, towards the socio-economic emancipation of marginalised communities.

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