A competence is the potential of a person to apply
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.
Nowadays social, personal and organisational competences play an increasingly important role beyond knowledge and skills that are formally assessed in schools, universities and vocational training institutions.
This refers for instance to the following competences:
• Client orientation
• Problem solving
• Planning competences
and many more.
For our modern societies and for the new requirements of rapidly changing working environments we need innovatve educational (or learning) systems that also foster the development and validation of those competences.