Prof. Dr. Reinhold Weiss
Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB)
Deputy President and Head of the Research, Bonn, Germany,
Status of competence research in Germany: approaches – results
During the last decades research on competences and competence development has become a major research issue in Germany. Starting with international comparative studies on general competences like PISA a number of studies have been carried out. Research programmes such as ASCOT have transferred and developed new approaches to the field of vocational education and training. Scientific resources and methodological know-how have been developed. Measurement of competences meanwhile has become an integrated part of educational research. Nevertheless resources invested in VET-research are very limited. At the same time, approaches and results are the object of criticism. Two arguments are of central importance. Competence research has produced a lot of data but only poor results on reasons, instruments and advice on how to improve learning arrangements. Competence research has focused on testing competences on the basis of single items, but it has failed to measure holistic competences and the demands in the complexity of real work.