Canadians for a Modern industrial strategy (CMIS) brings together people from labour, business, and the community who believe our economic success and social well-being depend on adopting a proactive industrial strategy. We want everyone who is concerned about the future, about jobs, about nature, and about education, to have a meaningful voice in deciding what the world of tomorrow looks like a future that is not only rich, but rich in equality; where no one is left behind.
CMIS believes that when education treats people as whole people— not just as resources for the economy—it can be a great equalizer in society. With fair access to quality public education, people are better able to pursue career goals and achieve a higher standard of living. Education can therefore reduce income inequality. However, education enhances equality in many other ways too. When people learn, they empower themselves to better understand who they are and how to achieve their own goals. it is empowering to the self and to one’s community.
This note recognizes the shared objectives and actions of the International Indigenous (RPL) Collective and CMIS. We both understand that RPL has the capacity to develop critical consciousness. It can help to recognize previous learning and bridge the gap between current learning and future goals. RPL empowers people and communities, as education should.
A second objective of this note is to recognize that RPL is a good idea,but is still in the early stages of broad acceptance in society and academic institutions. When good ideas are not fully embraced, there is normally a reason. Here, it is argued that the major reason RPL is not better recognized is because the dominant view of education is stuck in the past. Education, particularly post-secondary education, is too often seen as a tool for feeding the needs of labour markets. From this point of view education is sold as a product in a formal classroom. Because of this, governments and post-secondary institutions are reluctant to recognize prior learning.