EU Key Competences 2018

The Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning has now been published. It repeals and replaces the 2006 Recommendation. So what's new? What are the competences European citizens need to acquire? Some have been slightly updated, while others have undergone significant changes.

There's is also a significant change of terminology: it is recommended that DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES be used instead of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and IST (Information Society Technology) because "it is considered the most appropriate term to refer to the full range of devices, software or infrastructure. With the increased, varied and embedded use of mobile devices and applications, references to 'computers' and 'the Internet' are removed, but are still classed under the broad term of digital technologies." I think it really hits the mark.

The Proposal lists the following 8 competences along with explanations:
  • LITERACY COMPETENCE - "can be developed in the mother tongue, in the language of schooling, and/or in the official language of the country. The key element is that a good level of  literacy needs to be ensured in at least one of these languages to allow for further competences development."

  • LANGUAGES COMPETENCE  - "focus is on helping people to communicate across borders, to make use of mobility within Europe and in a globalized economy."

  • SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGICAL ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICAL COMPETENCE - as in 2006, "with their emphasis on critical questioning and problem solving, they are prerequisite  for the functioning of technologically advanced, knowledge based societies and economies. This new title strengthens the understanding of science as a process and way of thinking and includes a reference to the increasing need of financial literacy."

  • DIGITAL COMPETENCE - is aligned with the Digital Competence Framework (2013), which includes 5 areas: (1) Information and data literacy, including management of content, (2) Communication and collaboration and participation in society, (3) Digital content creation, including ethical principles, (4) Safety and (5) Problem solving. The description of this competence "should try to be significantly flexible to be relevant in today's society and in the future, recognising the embedding of social media and the emergence of new technologies, such as Artificial intelligence, robots, virtual and augmented reality." (How great is this part that I underlined!)

  • PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND LEARNING COMPETENCE - "includes three specific aspects:
    - personal - including self-awareness, physical and mental well-being
    - social - covering interpersonal interactions and working with others
    - learning - focus on lifelong learning strategies and career management skills.
    It also addresses a number of transversal skills from the 2006 Framework (creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, decision taking, self-regulation,...) as well as some new ones, such as resilience, ability to deal with uncertainty and complexity.

  • CIVIC COMPETENCE - "includes active citizenship, participation, involvement and building a sustainable future and further highlights the role of citizenship, democratic values and human rights in today's increasingly connected global societies. Understanding the need to support sustainable societies, economies and ecosystems, as well as practice sustainable lifestyles is a key element of this competence."
  • ENTREPRENEURSHIP COMPETENCE - "is aligned with the JRC Entrepreneurship Competence Framework. In addition, creativity and the ability to plan and manage processes are highlighted as essential dimensions of an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • CULTURAL AWARENESS AND EXPRESSION COMPETENCE - "takes into account a wider range of contemporary forms of cultural expressions and also to more clearly describe how this competence is a crucial element in understanding, developing and expressing ideas and one's place or role in society, or in other words, being able to view and shape the world with a sense of identity that is constructed in relation to others. Positive and open-minded attitudes towards other cultures and cultural differences are  highlighted.