Successful and relevant application of learning happens when individuals activate and apply knowledge, attitudes and skills in a specific situation. This ability can be described as competence. From a lifelong learning perspective it is a short time people spend in educational institutions, outside of formal learning settings. We might conclude, that education and qualification could cover the broad range of experience, attitudes, book-knowledge and skills that one has and needs for his or her active and autonomously shaped life. The shift is taken place from knowledge dissemination toward competency development.
Successful and relevant application of learning happens when individuals activate and apply knowledge, attitudes and skills in a specific situation. This ability can be described as competence. Competence-centered learning might happen at work, during leisure activities, or in one’s personal life. When competences have universal characteristics they are named transversal
competences - in contrast to specific
competences which are required more or less only in one specific field or learning context.
The idea of a society following the principals of life-long learning started to come into fashion during the 1970’s. In that time the intellectual ideas of reform pedagogy were brought together with an explicit modernist vision of societal development. A crucial role for further development was played by the competency-based style of learning. This implies that a change occurred in the attitudes of the learners towards learning - as a self-responsible and life-long task.
Learning takes place everywhere: in schools, at work, in our spare time, and all throughout our private lives. Educational institutions only specialize in certain aspects of learning. A common understanding is to divide them into three types of educational structures – ones that provide formal, non-formal or informal education.
Civic competences enable people to act responsibly in society and in their interaction with other individuals according to values like transparency, openness, social responsibility and human dignity. They are part of a system of transversal (or key) competencies. In contrast to other competences, they refer to shared democratic values which are not self-explanatory.
How global, international and European learning contributes to competency development
"A competency is more than just knowledge and skills. It involves the ability to meet complex demands, by drawing on and mobilizing psychosocial resources (including skills and attitudes) in a particular context."