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

Lassnigg, Lorenz (December 2015) Competence-based education and educational effectiveness. A critical review of the research literature on outcome-oriented policy making in education. IHS Sociological Series 111, 44 p.

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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.

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: Review, competence-based education, learning outcomes, education policy making, research
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2015 11:40
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2017 10:17
URI: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/3852

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