KeyCoNet 2013 literature review: key competence development in school education in Europe

Author(s): Vivitsou, M.; von Reis Saari, J.; Kearney, C.; Kallunki, V.; Erstad, O.; Gordon, J.; Gilje, O.; Rey, O.; Siewiorek, A.; Arjomand, G.

Organisation(s): KeyCoNet

Date: 2013

Pages: 143 p.


This literature review outlines the key issues in relation to the definition and implementation of key competences in school education in Europe, at the classroom/school as well as systemic level. In order to focus the areas explored by our network’s team of researchers, a matrix was formulated and agreed upon by all contributors to the literature review (see annex 1). As is evident from the matrix, the key focus is on analyzing implementation policies and practice, which constitutes the network’s core remit. The review examines the various interrelated dimensions of innovative learning environments (formal and nonformal), curriculum design, teacher training, pedagogy and socio-economic issues, across a wide range of sources including scientific reviews and books, reports from EU and other international organizations, as well as national key reports about specific relevant initiatives. The literature review is divided into three sections, each with a specific focus. The first section written by the University of Helsinki examines the implementation of key competences across school education in Europe, from the point of view of practice. The classroom and non-formal learning environments are therefore considered in relation to technology enhanced as well as collaborative and multidisciplinary learning, and the key competences of teachers. The authors consider the approaches to implementation from the national, regional and school levels. The second section of the review is written by the European Institute of Education and Social Policy (EIESP) and analyzes approaches to the implementation of key competences in school education at systemic level, focusing on curriculum design and implementation and socio-economic aspects, as well as taking a closer look at some of the literature on transversal and cross-curricular key competences. The final section written by l’Institut Français de l’Éducation (IFE), belonging to l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon (ENS) provides a specific example of how key competence development has been framed in French-speaking countries, considering particularly the definition and integration of competences in schools in France, and the assessment approaches used.

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