Up until recently we assumed learners were already in possession of these competencies and many schools have explored making use of an inquiry-learning framework, but generally this approach has had limited success. The reason for this lack of success is the absence of the necessary dispositions that come from an understanding of the competencies. This has meant that in most cases, educators have had to fill in these competency gaps.
If we were to film an inquiry process we would find that almost 90% of the questions asked and the difficulties that the learners had were due the lack of competence in one or more domains. We would also find that the learner was unable to learn independently and needed the teacher to tell them how and what to learn. This is a dependency relationship and both parties encourage that dependency. The result is the teacher racing from team to team of inquiry learners, sorting out the issues, and while this is possibly useful in improving teacher fitness it does not assist the learners becoming learning-fit, becoming learners and managing the Learning Processes themselves.
The competencies have been derived from a number of international reports, including the OECD DeSeCo (Defining and Selecting Competencies) report, the Mayer Report and The Eurydice Report: “A Developing Concept in General Compulsory Education. Universally, the competencies are seen as a set of foundational capacities that act as a precursor to effective learning. Increasingly, the development of curriculum within many countries is seeing the inclusion of the competencies or the resulting dispositions in the foundation statements that underpin curriculum. In the work completed within this project, six key competencies have been identified.
The competencies include:
2. Thinking and questioning
4. Having a comprehensive language of learning
5. Managing self
6. Connecting and reflecting (R-R-I) on existing knowledge, ideas and concepts to create new
knowledge, ideas, concepts and concept frameworks