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ProjectNumber:527349LLP120121ITGRUNDTVIGGMP AgreementNumber:20124192/001001


JaapvanLakerveld JoostdeZoete IngridGussen The European parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Europe agree on the importance of eight key competences for Life Long Learning. The European Framework for Key Competences for Lifelong Learning identifies and defines eight key competences necessary for personal fulfillment, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability in a knowledge society. This paper is an introduction to the subject of the assessment of key competences and provides a summaryoftheearlyreflectionsgeneratedbythestudy developed within the Project Vintage, aimed at developing a tool for selfassessment of key competencesinadulteducation.

1.Communicationinthemother tongue 2.Communicationinforeign languages 3.Mathematicalcompetences andbasiccompetencesinscience andtechnology 4.Digitalcompetence 5.Learningtolearn 6.Socialandciviccompetence 7.Senseofinitiativeand entrepreneurship 8.Culturalawarenessand expression

Rapid societal changes, shifting positions of nations and continents in international competition, demographic changes,technologicalchangesarejustafewofthedevelopmentsthatledtheEuropeanCommissionandother policymakingbodiestoemphasizethenecessityoflifelonglearningofprofessionalsinawidevarietyoffieldsof work. The European Framework for Key Competences for Lifelong Learning identifies and defines eight key competences necessary for personal fulfillment, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability in a knowledgesociety: 1.Communicationinthemothertongue; 2.Communicationinforeignlanguages; 3.Mathematicalcompetenceandbasiccompetencesinscienceandtechnology; 4.Digitalcompetence; 5.Learningtolearn; 6.Socialandciviccompetences; 7.Senseofinitiativeandentrepreneurship; 8.Culturalawarenessandexpression. Competences consist of a combination of skills, knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours required for effective performance of a realworld task or activity. A competence is defined as the holistic synthesis of these components.Atanotherlevelacompetenceagainmaybedividedinthreecomponentsoraspects.Itistheability ofapersontoshow:1.aparticularbehaviourin;2.aparticularcontextandwith;3.aparticularquality. Thisistheformalwayofdescribingcompetences.Inmoredowntoearthlanguagethisimpliesthatwhatmatters isnotonlywhatweknowaboutthings,butmoreimportantiswhatweareabletodowiththisknowledge,and whetherwe are able to goondevelopingour abilities.Doeseducationmake learners knowledgeable, ordoes it makethemcompetent,thatisthequestion.

The components of competence

Theellipseinthemiddleoftheschemeincludestheactualperformancethatshowsthelevelofcontrolover a particular competence. The components in the left triangle (composing someones potential) allow a persontoshowtheintendedbehaviourintherighttriangle.Therethepupil/studentdemonstrateshis/her acquiredcompetence.(Lakerveld,J.Avan,GussenI,2011)

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The first three of the competences are domain specific, while the other five are referred to as transversal which implies that they pervade the othercompetenceareas. We will outline some trends in the ways learning processes have been conceptualised throughout thelastdecades.Thesettinginwhichpeoplework, or the setting they perceive as their work environment, has profoundly changed. These changeshavetheirimpactondaytodaypracticeof workers and learners as well as the practices of educators. Thetrends in theway in which learning processes were perceived and approached throughoutthelastdecadesindicatethisevolution.

Views on acquiring competences

Manandhissmartestinventions Throughout time man often has compared himself with his own smartest inventions (Vroon and Draaisma, 1985), be it a steam engine, a radio, or a computer.Twentyfiveyearsago,intheirbookabout metaphors, Vroon and Draaisma indicated that in recenttimesthehumanmindisoftencomparedwith computers. However computers show an evolution and as a consequence so did our perception of our ownmindandmaybesodidourminditself. Theearlyseventies Intheearlyseventiesbehaviourismwasbeginningto loose its position (Lecas, 2006). The time of mechanical metaphors, simple ideas of mechanical minds, memory drums, programmed instruction made place for a much more cognitively oriented approach. The days of programmed instruction, in whichlearningwasperceivedassynonymoustobeing trained, and a matter of conditioning involving

rewardsorreinforcementswereover.Thepersonal computer was introduced and became fashionable and invaded in all our offices in schools and universities. Thelateseventies,earlyeighties Psychologiststartedtothinkaboutthehumanmind as a personal computer, as a system that stores information, processes information, that retrieves information and that function better when the informationstorediswellorganisedandstructured. The cognitive revolution took place. Cognitivism of course existed before, but now this approach becamethe dominantapproach. Now that learning was assumed to be basically an information processing process, people began to use metaphorical concepts such a long term memory, short term memory. The human being and his metaphor approached each other. In a way one could argue that a person is not only compared to an information processing system; people actually are information processing systems (Lindsay and Norman,1977).

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Thelateeighties Soonitappearedthatcomputerswerenotjustinformationprocessing systems; they could also be much more creative than people had anticipated. Artificial intelligence no longer was just science fiction; it started to become more and more a reality, so psychologist realised that the human brain might be far more constructive than they had assumed thus far. The cognitive approach was evolving into constructivism in those days. In the late eighties the cognitive view shiftedtowardsamoreconstructivistone(Valcke,2007).Knowledgein thatapproachisnotjustabsorbedandstored;knowledgeisapersonal competence that is self constructed. It is an integrated entity of knowledge, skills and attitudes, that allows the individual to act in a situation. Constructivism was a theory developed long ago, but the significantthinghereisthatitsuddenlygainedsupportinthisera. Theearlynineties The computers developed rapidly and the Internet was introduced in organisations and homes. Suddenly computers appeared to be more than just processors or constructors; they appeared to be social interactive tools. Researchers, authors, journalists discovered that email allowed them to work closely together with colleagues all over the globe in a constructive way. It proved once more and more convincingly that leaning was more that individual construction of knowledge.Knowledgeconstructiontoahighextentappearedtobea social activity, in which individual and collective progress go hand in hand (Palinscar, 1998). That is when constructivism turned into social constructivism. Again, of course Vygotsky had developed these ideas longago,butnowtheybecamecommonlyaccepted. Thelatenineties IntheearlyninetiestheInternetwasstillverymuchlimitedtostoring, searchinganddownloadinginformation(Google)andtoelectronicmail. Theattentionofpsychologistswasdrawnintotwodirections.Onewas inspiredby theinternalstructures ofcomputersand networks. That is what led to theories of connectionism in which the actual brain structuresofneuralconnectionsbecametheobjectofstudies.

Main EU documentes on Key Competences

Recommendation2006/962/ECof theEuropeanParliamentandofthe Councilof18December2006on keycompetencesforlifelong learning[OfficialJournalL394of 30.12.2006] EuropeanCommission(2007).Key Competencesforlifelonglearning EuropeanReferenceFramework. Luxembourg:OfficeforOfficial PublicationsoftheEuropean Communities _culture/publ/pdf/ll learning/keycomp_en.pdf EuropeanCommission(2010).Key CompetencesforLifeLong Learning,EuropeanReference Framework. _culture/publ/pdf/ll learning/keycomp_en.pdf

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Other psychologists were focusing on the external links and connections and turned to connectivism in which learning was conceptualized as a matter of connecting to the right people as sources and resources of learning. Connectivism emphasizes the necessityof sharing knowledgeand finding theright sourcesandpersonstoconnectwith(Siemens2005). Connectionism isverymuchfocusingontheneuronal functioningofthebrain,whileconnectivismispaying more attention to communication and information technology and the potential these have for human learning. Theturnofthemillennium By the time we reached the turn of the millennium paradigms had been changed and challenged so often ourthata kind ofpostmoderneclecticism set in. Like the computer, which had turned into a multitasking multi media tool, the human brain was believed to be of a similar multi leveled structure with many underlying mechanisms and a variety of theoriestoexplainthem. Theseconddecadeofthemillennium Today another profound development shows its impact on the way we work with computers and on how we think about learning. For a long time computerswereperceivedassourcesofinformation, or channels through which sources could be found. Increasingly, however, computers today are used to upload information. Wikipedia is a good example of this trend. A person puts information on the web, otherpersonsaddtheirs,againotherpersonupgrade theinformationorenrichitwiththeirviewsorinputs and when thefirst persontypesthesame thing into Google a next time he or she sees clearly that the knowledgehasgrownwithouthisorherinvolvement in the mean time. In a way you might argue that learningtakesplaceatalevelbeyondtheindividual. Knowledge was produced, or created. The seat of that knowledge may not primarily be the human brain. Learning has turned into knowledge production and creation. Has man been taken over

by his smartest invention? For now the balance is thatweseethatlearningitselfevolvesinsuchaway that without being involved in learning ourselves all the time we will loose touch with developments in various fields and with learning itself. As for the content of our work and of our profession that was always a well known fact. One had to attend refresher courses, or read books, but this short history of learning shows that learning itself is in such a permanent evolution that it requires a permanent reorientation. It is our conviction that teacher educators, whoscorebusinessitistothink aboutlearning,topromotelearningandtooptimize learning have a special responsibility in these matters.

Learning3.0 Thelearningenvironmentasprovidedbycomputers moreandmoreprovestoberesponsivetothe personalindividualwebhistoryoftheuserofthe web.Thisimpliesthatincreasinglytheuserswilleach beconfrontedwithalearningenvironmentoftheir ownthatdiffersfromthatofothers.Thisimpliesthat thecontextualcomponentofcompetencebecomes moreandmoreimportanttobeconsidered.Society movesinadirectioninwhichwealloperateinarich butpersonallyfocusedworklearningenvironment. Formattersofteachingandlearningthisimpliesthat learningincreasinglyhastobecomeamutualprocess ratherthanaoneortwowayprocess.Thisagain requiresevenmorecomplicated(sub)competences ineachofthekeycompetenceareasidentified.

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Why competences
Growingpaceofknowledgeproduction Knowledge production shows an ever increasing pace. The number of publications and the technological progress made show a pace that no longer allows for the traditional approaches. What pupils and students learn while at school already partially is out of date when they complete their studies. Of course there will always be a need for basic knowledge and skills, but the debate about what that includes will prove to be continuous. Increasingly there will be an additional competence needed in self regulated learning. The European Union has repeatedly stressed the role of education andtrainingforthelongtermcompetitivenessofthe European Union (European Commission, 2007a). Each student will have to be prepared for a life in which changeis the rule and stability the exception. Teachers will have to facilitate these processes of learninghowtolearnandhowtoengageinlifelong learning. Newtechnologiesandtheriskofcomputerilliteracy Thedevelopmentsshowtheirowndynamicsinwhich somepeopletakepartandothersdont.Duringthe past decade, Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have become available, i.e. accessible and affordable, for the general public. However, a gap remains between users and non usersorbetweenhavesandhavenots(Eurostat, 2005). Inthe newcenturythe divisionof knowledge seemstobecomethecoreissue.Inordertotakepart in modern life people will have to be competent in themultiplewaysofcommunicationandinformation sharingasmadeavailablethroughnewmedia.Those that loose touch with modern technology may get disconnected and at risk of deteriorating into a

marginalized group. The may become the new disadvantaged. Mobilityandinternationalization NewmemberstatesjoinedtheEuropeanUnionand morearestilltocome.Mobilitycanassistinensuring that EU citizens work to live and improve their qualityoflife,aswellasassistinstrengtheningsocial cohesionwithinEuropeandassuringthesustainable development of European society in general (Tom Vandenbrande, 2006). Increased mobility enriches the cultural scenery in each of the member states, but it also shows transition problems. New challenges of getting acquainted with each others educational systems and levels, new challenges of divisionofworkandnewchallengesofotherwaysof crossculturalcommunicationandcooperationarise. Europe solved many of such problems in the past andprobablywilldoitagain,butittakeseffortsand time.Teacherswillhavetoplayanimportantrolein thisprocessofmutualadaptation.


With the ongoing unification of Europe, citizens at the same time often feel the need to emphasise their more local or regional identity. The more centralization, the more this need appears to arise. The position of Europe in the world brings with it that people from elsewhere around the globe seek their future in Europe. Though policies are not alwaysverywelcomingstillquiteafewpeopleenter theunioneachyear.Theywillalsohavetointegrate orfindtheirplaceintheEuropeansaladbowlasit is referred to (to distinguish it from the American meltingpot).Againeducationandteacherswithinit will play a major part in this process of cultural integrationandcoexistence.

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Newpositionintheglobaleconomy Europe develops a more and more shared identity. WiththeintroductionoftheEuroEuropehasgained a stronger economical position in the world. Other economical nuclei begin to develop as well and the competition will increase as a consequence. The European Commission, as a consequence, sets as its target to turn Europe into one of the most knowledge productive societies. This implies a big challenge to society in general and education in particular. Teachers will be vital payers in these matters. Healthhazards The quality of food has risen but the quality of it consumption has not. Many countries are having problems related to that. Over consumption, too muchjunkfoodandtoomanysweetsnottomention the many beverages cause over weight and related other problems. The use of drugs and alcohol is still notundercontrol.Somanymeasuresarebeingtaken toreducethehealthhazardsofmodernlifestyles.As formanyproblemsagainthepoliticiansoftenturnto educators.Schoolsandteacherstakearesponsibility inreducingtheproblems. Moralissues The position of churches declined. The traditional social structures within society tend toalter.After a long period of individualization the present generation shows a more diverse image of what is considered morally adequate. The role of families in moral development and education seems to decrease. Increasingly parents expect schools to contributeto thedevelopmentofvalues,normsand attitudes. Schools, though often reluctantly, see themselves forced to do something. Safe schools,

social competence projects, increasing cooperation with youth organizations are only a few of the examples that might be given to support this trend. Again it is teachers who are expected to play their part. Environmentalissues Worldwide we see environmental issues: global warming, pollution, exhaustion of natural resources to name a few. Europe has its own challenges in thesematters.Reductionoftheuseofenergy,clean energy sources and preservation of our natural environmentplayamajorpartinthepresentpolitical and other debates. Schools prepare student for a future that will have to be sustainable. Society and schoolswithinitarefacinghugechallenges. The issues mentioned require strategies to find proper answers to guarantee a prosperous, healthy and peaceful future for Europe. The European Commission promotes the idea that education, schools and teachers may play a major part in meeting the challenges the worldsets to Europe, its member states and most important, its citizens. So farwefocusedonthedefinitionofcompetencesand the background of competence as such. We did not focus on the choice of the eight competences mentionedassuch.

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Assessing competence
The debate about the choice of competences often reveals misunderstandings about them. It is important here to realize that the competences are conceived as competences for lifelong learning. So for instance if we focus on the KC of entrepreneurship that does not mean that people oughttostartfirms,farmsoffactories,no.itimplies thatpeopleinordertobesuccessfullifelonglearners neeasenseofinitiativeandentrepreneurship. Soin assessing this competence the focus will have to be on entrepreneurial learning, rather than on starting enterprises. This applies to all of the distinguished competences. Assessingcompetencesisaprocessofidentifyingthe performanceofapersoninaparticularsituationand evaluate the quality of the performance. In traditional educational settings assessment was assumedtoconsistonlyofidentifyingtheknowledge, skills and attitudes that were supposed to be included in a persons potential. The focus in such assessment approaches is on a persons potential rather than one persons actual performance. Nowadays views on learning with the focus on knowledge productivity, co creation, social constructivism,connectivismetc.doassumethatthe knowledge is not a body of knowledge known to someexpertpeopleandnow onlytobetransmitted to others; it rather is based on the idea that in

mutual interaction all learners involved bring themselves further in their itineraries towards extended personal competence. Given this shift in views on competence, and on competence acquisition the challenge is to assess the actual behaviour a person demonstrates in a real(istic) context. Referring to the double triangle model this means that the assessment needs to be focusing on therighttriangleratherthanontheleft.Nonetheless items may be included referring to the elements included in the left triangle, since these elements maybeconsideredavaluabletreasureofknowledge skills and attitudes thatmayclarify or explain whya level of performance/competence is present, or not presentyet. Dochy 2002 mentions a number of conditions to be fulfilledinacompetenceorientedassessment:: 1. The construction of knowledge is a must, not reproduction. 2. The goal of the assessment is basic knowledge as wellasapplyingknowledgeandskills. 3. Authentic or lifelike situations should be used, suchascasesorproblems. The following characteristics are an ambition in assessment: 4.studentsshould be involved activelyinthe design andperformanceofassessments. 5. The assessments are being integrated in the learningandinstructionprocess(Dochy2002:35). Assessmenttypes: Examination, essay, seminar, project, individual, group, oral presentation, report/review, practical/field file, it file, field course file, portfolio, proposal, diary, report (Brown & Knight in Dochy 2009:37). Self assessment, peerassessment, co assessment, portfolioassessment, overall assessment, assessment centre, presentation, memorandum report, performance assessment, simulation,journalism,reflectivejournal,knowledge test(Dochy2002:39).

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Functions of assessing competences

Assessments may serve various purposes. This does notimplythateachpurposerequiresadifferenttool; itdoeshoweverseemtoimplythatasameorsimilar tool would need different guidelines/manuals when usedfordifferentpurposes.Thishastobetakeninto account while designing the tool. Now first we will clarify the concept of assessment functions/purposes. Diagnostic Anassessmentmaybeusedtohelpapersonacquire a view on his/ her own abilities at a particular momentintime.Adiagnosticassessmentismeantto provide feedback to a question as: What kind of competence profile do I have?; what kind of person amI?etc. Orientation An other kind of assessment function is focusing on providing the person with a clear image of what a competence includes or involves. By doing an assessmentthelearnergetsaninsightinthefeature ofthecompetencesincludedintheassessment.Itis likedoing the test in order toknow what the test is aboutratherthanforbeingtested. Formative/learningoriented Once engaged in a learning process a learner may wish to get feedback on how much progress he or shemakesandhowthisprogressmaybeoptimized. The basic need for information is based on the curiosity on how well one is doing, how far one has come and how the learning process may best be continued. Collectivelearning So far we consider learning as an individual process

of acquiring competences. In learning situations, however we often come across collective learning situation in which the ultimate goal is to raise the level of collective performance (examples are sports, dancing, drama, team work, etc.) Assessmentsoncompetenceswithsuchacollective ambition will need to include ways of identifying thecollectiveperformance. Summativeassessment Once a learning process is coming to a particular level considered to be the end, or the completion oftheprocess,theassessmentneedsfocusonthe question, did I reach my goals? Do I meet the standards? In such cases we speak of summative assessment focusing on the identification of the eventuallevelofperformance;thefinaljudgment. Selectiveassessment Again an other purpose of assessing competence may be for purposes of selection. In such assessmentthebasicchallengeistorankthelevels of performance to identify who are the best, or betterthanothers. Predictiveassessment Having gone through a learning process it may be interesting to identify the eventual level of performance; more interesting even may be the search for indicators of how the learning process may be continued and where that continuation may lead to. Formulated more simple, this would refertofindingtheanswertoaquestionlike:How competentmayIbecome?Thevarietyoffunctions does not necessarily imply that assessment tools need to vary accordingly; it may well be that one tool suits more, if not all purposes, provided it is presented with an appropriate user guide explaining the user, how the tool may be applied, shared,discussed,appliedandinterpreted.

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Competence levels/levels of mastery

The assessment of competences when focusing on the actual performance or reconstruction of performances, is facing the challenge of finding the rightdimensionsandcriteriaforassessment. Stated in another way this implies that we are searching for a kind of taxonomies for the element include in the right triangle of the competence model. These dimensions will refer to the level of a personsperformance;thecomplexityofthecontext in which this performance is demonstrated and the levelofqualityoftheperformance. Actionlevels As for the actions we have created the following provisionalscale(leveloneisthistableisthelowest level. Contrary to the original document from June 2013 wenodecidenolongertodistinguishbetweenlevels of action.Wehave chosen toreducethe complexity of the model by assuming that there is just the action,thelevelofwhichisdeterminedbythequality ofitandthecomplexityofthesituationinwhichitis applied.Furthermore we have chosen toreducethe numberoflevelstofivedistinctlevels. Levelsofcontextualcomplexity As for the level of complexity of contexts we have identified variables that may affect the level of complexity, however, they show no ranking nor sequence: Number of people involved (one to one)/ group/organization/community; Heterogeneity(multipleperspectives);

Complexityoftools/infrastructure/logistics involved; Timeconstraints; Responsibility/accountability;

Socialandorganizationalcomplexity. So we have searched for another way to indicate complexity and came to the following provisional level indications. Again we start with the lowest level of complexity level 1 and then make it more complextowardslevel8.

LevelsofQuality For the level of quality wedid the same thing; first of all we summed up the elements that might be considered when deciding upon the level of quality of a persons actions/performance. Included in any competence will be qualities in the following domains(EUreferenceframework,2007) 1. Critical thinking (reflects upon your actions Does consider alternatives, turns to theory/experience/evidence) 2. Creativity (Comes up with new suggestions, inventsnewactionsorthings) 3. Initiative (Sees opportunities, makes the first move,comesupwithideas,takesupnewtasks) 4. Problem solving (is involved in solving the problems, overcomes the obstacles. acts strategically.Findsnewsolutions) 5.Riskassessment(Isawareofrisksinvolved,takes

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risks, is estimating the risk before taking actions) 6.Decisionmaking(Takesdecisions,identifies whatdecisionsshouldbemade) 7. Constructive management of feelings (Keeps up the good spirit, overcomes frustration easily,maintains a good level of energyandmotivation) 8. Adequate use of resources (Has enough background and expertise to deal with the situation, knows when to make use of this expertise) 9. Effectiveness (Accomplishes what needs to bedoneCandowhatthesituationrequires) 10. Impact (Makes things happen, turns activityintoasuccess,makesthingswork) Again,howeverthere isnosense ofdirection or ranking in thislist. Thatis why we tried to

develop. Neverthelessitmustbepossibletorateanactivity oneachoftheidentifiedvariablesonascalefrom 15 and then identify the overall quality level keeping the three criteria of autonomy, effectivenessandimpactinmind.

Back to key competences

Todescribethecompetencesweelaboratedeachofthecornersof the triangles model for each of the key competences. After having donethattheperformancetriangleshavebeensummarizedinshort lists of competence domains (for the three domain specific competences) and in key qualities in a brief in sum list for each of thecompetences. Sotocreatetheassessmentthenextstepwastouseeachofthese shortlisted domains/key qualities, then to position them in a particular setting/context. In the list examples of such settings are included. And then to relate them to the levels of complexity of contextsandthelevelsofquality,asoperationalizedabove. Foreachofthe Keycompetenceswe nowhave elaborated oneset offivesituationsofincreasingcomplexity.

Vintage is a European project funded through the Grundtvig action of the Lifelong Learning Programme. The acronym means online tool for self eValuatIoN of key competences in adulTAGE:infact,theprojectaimsto developandtestanonlinetoolforthe selfevaluationofkeycompetences,to be used by adult learners involved in non vocational adult education learningpathways. The project has started in January 2013 and will last two years. It brings together partners from 6 European countries: Italy, Austria, Germany, Vivamus id nisi vel purus gravida bibendum. Ireland,SwedenandTheNetherlands. Duis nec neque. In sem diam, convallis Projectwebsite: eleifend, rutrum id, rutrum et, justo. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.
Etiam malesuada eros at mi.

September,2013 JaapvanLakerveld,JoostdeZoeteandIngridGussen GrundtvigProjectVINTAGE

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.



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GrundtvigProjectVINTAGEonlinetoolforselfeValuatIoNofkeycompetencesinadulTAGE Reference:527349LLP120121ITGRUNDTVIGGMP GrantAgreementn.n.20124192/001001