Re-imagining secondary learning through a key competencies frame

Rosemary Hipkins, Wayne Erb, New Zealand Education Gazette, Nov 09, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

On the one hand, I am uneasy with the way this article addresses competencies through the language of behaviourism (for example, with repeated reference to 'dispositions', echoing Gilbert Ryle from the 1950s. On the other hand, I like the points being made to the effect that, if we are going to assess competencies, we should do so within a framework of complex behavior. Rosemary Hipkins writes,  "I am often asked if key competencies should be assessed. My short answer is ‘no’ but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken into account in the overall assessment mix. Assessment tasks that require a ‘complex performance’ (one that brings together content, context and targeted competencies) provide opportunities for students to show how multiple dimensions of their competencies are building and getting stronger over time.

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