Competence in transition
The former Soviet economies have, for the past 12 years, looked to the advanced economies in the west for help in reforming their systems of vocational education and training. These "transition" economies still bear much of the legacy of the previous system and culture - academic in orientation, firmly supply led and implemented through vocational schools which are in economic crisis. They are offered the western "consensus" - competence-based training systems and the introduction of common or "core" skills. However, in introducing these methods, approaches and concepts, fundamental flaws appear, flaws that have not been seriously addressed in their countries and cultures of origin. This paper tries to address the problems in dealing with concepts like "competence" and "core skills", and suggests that we need a coherent, grounded concept of occupational competence to replace the relatively unquestioned "deficiency model" which these concepts represent.
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