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The Walk of Life

Life Experience x Young People x West Yorkshire Finding Independence


Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London


REBEL stands for Recognising Experience Based Education and Learning and is an interconnected system of 

open-source tools and techniques for doing just that. It was developed by a team of academic practitioners and community-based education activists and consists of a competency framework, thematic units, a card game, supporting workshops and a core set of principles to guide use.

Life now moves at a such pace and people switch between roles, activities, responsibilities and know how fluidly, at all stages of life. REBEL was developed to take up the challenge that this dynamic, life-wide learning by doing presents to us and as such, aims to hold space, create structure and invite everyone to identify and absorb how what we do and interact with in our everyday shapes and changes us. 

REBEL is unique as it is playful, hands on and literally puts language in people's hands. It is interdisciplinary, modular and offers many modes to positively identify aspects of your learning in a flat value system where every reflection is created equal! This means there are many ways it can invite meaningful engagement where the surfacing of rich, complex and varied lived experience is absolutely central. 

The tools and techniques all work interchangeably. The cards ask you to match experience to a possible 108 capabilities, reflect and visualise this. The 9 units ask you choose a learning theme through which to compile a collection of evidence that shows the development of key competencies (attitudes, knowledge and skill). The techniques offer you workshop ideas and core principles to guide and adapt to your own context. 

REBEL is being developed by an ever-expanding UK based team (London, Falmouth, Yorkshire and Salford) and was initiated through two European Erasmus Strategic Partnership networks that included nine global hubs. It has been tested with multiple communities and organisations responsible for Higher Education, vocational training, and community support and learning. We are currently working on building a digital platform, workshops for 'training the trainers' and the 9 WEBL (Work and Experience Based Learning) units to formally accredit learning.

You can see our contribution to London Design Festival as part of University of the Arts London's 'Together in Europe: Models of Engagement' strand here.

Spring 2022, the paper 'REBEL: Evaluating and Producing Publics through Playful Interaction' written by Marsha Bradfield and Fred Meller featuring an interview with myself will feature in Public Art Dialogue's Public Art and Play: A Serious Piece of Nonsense issue.

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