What exactly is a competence?

A competence is the potential of a person to apply

  •    Knowledge,
  •    Skills as well as
  •    Feelings and attitudes

in a specific context and in a particular quality.

Competences evolve in lifelong learning.
The three aforementioned competence dimensions were already symbolised at the time of the Enlightenment from the Swiss pedagogue Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi through his model of "learning with head, heart and hand".

Still, in our formal education systems, the third, affective dimension (emotion (heart)) is not, or only little considered, particularly when it comes to the measurement of "learning outcomes" or performances.

However, especially the neurobiological (brain) research in recent years has once again clearly demonstrated that the emotional, non-cognitive dimension is of special importance for learning.