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Competence and Excellence in Vocational Education and Training

  • R. Kirby BarrickEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The notion of competence continues to be a major theme of vocational research. Notions of key competencies, in particular, continue to evolve in response to arguments about the new learning requirements of work and citizenship in the twenty-first century, including the rise of an interest in cross-cultural competencies. Yet there is still much controversy over the definition of the most important competencies and over their means of acquisition and assessment. There are questions, too, about how competence needs are identified and addressed in workplaces. Indeed, there are also powerful philosophical divisions among those who advocate competencies as a core aspect of learning systems. Debates about competence have thrown up a range of alternative and additional concepts. There are concerns that competence is best suited to describing a floor of minimally acceptable ability to perform, which is appropriate for assessing basic fitness to practice, particularly for those exiting initial vocational learning. However, where the emphasis is on innovation, artistry, or mastery, then it may be that some further notion of excellence is required. However, such concepts often include stronger elements of tacit knowledge and more of a sense of subjective quality, making their measurement and assessment more challenging. There is little need to further define and discuss the issue of competence and competence development. However, the interface of competence and excellence needs further exploration. This chapter explores relevant research that has addressed the concept of competence and excellence and posits ways in which both can be achieved in vocational education and training.

Keywords

Competence and excellence Vocational excellence Global competence Work readiness 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Education and CommunicationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kirby Barrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural Education and CommunicationUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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