Definitions Competence – Competency Profile – Standard
Our research programms are based on a definition of competence that accounts for the professional specificity, complexity and the context of the situational dependence of teacher and trainer acting and therefore goes beyond other definitions of teaching competence. Teaching situations always ask for a cluster of teaching actions and not only for a single competence. This is why we speak of a competency profile. Only if the quality of a competency profile can be measured, we use the term standard.
According to the competence definition of Weinert (2001), we define a competency profile as "[…] an impact teaching action in complex situations. This action must be definable, adequate, efficient and ethically justifiable and stimulates trainees in a differential manner" (Oser et al., 2006, S. 17). It is depending on the teaching and learning situation. In order to successfully cope with that situation, a whole cluster of competencies is needed, referring to each other and guided and directed by this situation.
Competency profiles are formulated at a medium level of abstraction. By this we mean the level of concretion of the actions within a competency profile. At a medium level of abstraction, the single actions of a situation are embedded in the overall context, nevertheless they can be visualized. The action is neither fragmented – as it would be the case on a micro level of abstraction – so that the situative complexity remains intact, nor too general – as it would be the case on a macro level of abstraction.
The term standard is used, if the quality of a competency profile can be measured and compared with a certain benchmark. (a) theoretical underpinning, (b) empirical evidence, (c) ethical responsibility and (d) focus on the improvement of learning in a holistic situation are important criteria for standards.
Oser, F., Curcio G.-P., Düggeli, A. & Kern, M. (2006). Schlussbericht 1. Phase. Professional Minds – Handlungssituationen und Standards für die Berufsausbildenden (6376.1BFS). Freiburg, Schweiz: Universität Fribourg (unveröffentlichtes Arbeitspapier).
Weinert, F.E. (2001). Concept of Competence: A Conceptual Clarification. In: D.S. Rychen & L.H. Salganik (Eds.): Defining and Selecting Key Competencies, pp. 46-65. Bern/Göttingen: Hogrefe&Huber Publishers.