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Competence-based education and educational effectiveness: a critical review of the research literature on outcome-oriented policy making in education

[working paper]

Lassnigg, Lorenz

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract Das Papier untersucht die empirische Evidenz zu den Ergebnissen von kompetenz-basierter Bildung oder Erziehung (competence-based education)und interpretiert auch die politische Behandlung dieses Ansatzes. Methodisch wird ein Review der Forschungsliteratur in bibliographischen Datenbasen und auch in praktisch orientierten Materialien auf Basis von Stichwortsuchen (die auch ‚outcomes‘ und ‚learning‘ umfassten) und inhaltlichen Auswertungen durchgeführt. Es ergibt sich, dass es kaum Forschung zu den Ergebnissen dieses Ansatzes gibt, obwohl dieser bereits seit den 1970ern in den USA verfochten wird. Paradoxerweise gibt es trotz dem starken politisch vorgebrachten Fokus auf Lernergebnisse in diesem pädagogischen Ansatz kaum eine Überprüfung von Ergebnissen der Praxis auf Basis dieses Ansatzes. (Autorenreferat)

The paper assesses the empirical evidence for outcomes of competence-based education which are envisaged by policy-makers, and gives some interpretations of how the topic is handled in the political processes. This is achieved by a review of the research literature as documented in bibliographical databases which cover academic publications and in more practical material. The searches were generic, and included not only specific competence-expressions, but also terms as ‘outcomes’ and ‘learning’. The staggering conclusion of this exercise is that there is hardly any evidence for the effectiveness of competence-based education despite the long period since the 1970s when the approach came up in the US. Whether this is an artefact of the operationalization of the outcomes of competence-based education or not, it seems that there is only very little attention to testing the policy-assumptions that competence-based education is a worthy educational innovation. As this is quite disturbing, it is recommended that more efforts are being made to prove (or falsify) the putative added value of competence-based education initiatives. (author's abstract)
Keywords education; education measure; education; evaluation; educational policy; research status; competence; learning success; learning method; learning process; Austria
Classification Sociology of Education; Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Education and Pedagogics
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
City Wien
Page/Pages 44 p.
Series Reihe Soziologie / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Soziologie, 111
ISSN 1605-8011
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications