Criteria of competence-oriented education (AKT:KOM)

Dr. Thomas Kisser, Prof. Dr. Alexander Siegmund


Especially since “PISA-shock” the term ‘competence’ has come increasingly to the fore. This is accompanied by the demand for more “output-orientation”, in which besides subject-specific knowledge and skills also domain-general competences are acquired and further developed.

For that, Educational Standards have been implemented at federal level, which define subject-specific competences. With the help of tasks, they should make analysis and testing possible on different competence levels within lessons. Furthermore, the majority of federal states has oriented their curricula to key competencies, as has Baden-Wurttemberg in its 2004 curricula.

Despite these approaches to implement competence-orientation in the German educational system, there is a huge gap between theory and practice, because especially new curricula are only slowly integrated into every day school life. This is the starting point for textbooks, because they are held to be the “major power of school” or the “secret curriculum”, with which the objectives demanded in the curricula should be actually accomplished.

The project “AKT:KOM” deals with the question, how the concept ‘competence-orientation’ is implemented in geography textbooks for Gymnasium[1]in Baden-Wurttemberg. This question will be answered with the help of quantitative and qualitative surveys on different stakeholder levels. The targets are stakeholders participating in the implementation of competence-orientation in the Baden-Wurttemberg educational system. Thereby, the main stakeholder is the teacher, who is confronted with the reorganization of school practice based on the educational standards and curricula.  Initially, the individual themes and hypotheses are generated based on qualitative expert interviews with individual stakeholders on different levels like ministries, seminaries for teacher training and schools.


Examples for Gymasium textbooks

Project start: 2012

This project is supported by the Westermann Publishing House.

[1] a type of secondary school, classes 5-12, considered the “high stream” in the traditional three-stream system




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