The Case for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Labour Education in Canada


  • Bruce Spencer
  • Derek Briton
  • Winston Gereluk



This article argues the case for recognising the value of labour learning within the formal education system. It is based on an introduction to the report by Gereluk (2001) and discusses the impact of prior learning and recognition (PLAR) on Canadian labour education as well as outlining why labour education deserves recognition. The article reviews aspects of labour education detailed in the report including the content and purposes of union courses and who participates in, and who delivers, union courses.


Gereluk, W 2001. Labour Education in Canada Today. see:

Spencer, B 1992a. Industrial studies for trade unionists. Labour/Le Travail 30(Fall), 261-275. DOI:

Spencer, B 1992b. Labour education in the UK and Canada: What do workers do and what should they be offered on union courses? Canadian and International Education 21(2), 55-68. DOI:

Spencer, B 1992c. Student-centred courses and social awareness: Contrary evidence from UK workers’ education. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education 6(1), 67-80.

Spencer, B 1994. Educating union Canada. Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education 8(2), 45-64.

Spencer, B 1998. Workers education for the twenty-first century. In S. M. Scott, B. Spencer, & A. M. Thomas (Eds.), Learning for Life: Canadian Readings in Adult Education (pp. 164-177). Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing.

Spencer, B (ed.) 2002. Unions and learning in a global economy: International and comparative perspectives. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing. (For contents see

Taylor, J. 1996 The continental classroom: Teaching labour studies on-line. Labor Studies Journal 21(1), 19-38.

Taylor, J. 2001 Union learning: Canadian Labour Education in the Twentieth Century. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing. (For contents, sample pages, images and video see For images, video and other materials related to the history of labour education in Canada see

Verner, C, and Dickinson, G 1974. Union Education in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia/Labour Canada.



— Updated on 2003-03-01


  • 2003-03-01 (2)
  • (1)

How to Cite

Spencer, B., Briton, D., & Gereluk, W. (2003). The Case for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Labour Education in Canada. Just Labour, 2.