Definitions of competence tend to refer to a complex notion that goes beyond cognitive aspects, and includes attitudes and capacities in addition to a set of skills. Cross–curricular key competences have a focus in all subjects and school activities and are the responsibility of all school staff. They represent the goals that are common to the whole curriculum and constitute different types of tools that students need to adapt to a variety of situations and to continue learning throughout life.
This being said, the network is based on the following key elements:
- A network of partners including nine Ministries in charge of education or national agencies specialised in curriculum and assessment issues, inspectorates and school heads representatives, and seven university departments, some of them being specialised in key competences issues, others providing teacher training; two European organisations (one on entrepreneurship education, and EUN) are two other partners; Ministries connecting departments/national agencies in charge of curriculum development, teacher training, student assessment, learning resources, etc. In total, the network consists of 18 partners from 10 countries bringing together those able to make strategic and potentially systemic decisions (Ministries) in cooperation with practitioners (teacher trainers, inspectorates), and grounded by evidence (university departments); in addition, individual scientific experts will also be associated to this partnership;
- The systematic mapping and collection of information and sustained debate about initiatives (policies, pilot projects, experiments, classroom practice, etc.) and evidence from research in the area of KCD (key competence development) via face-to-face meetings at European level, followed by national networking events to engage more stakeholders (teachers’ professional associations, teacher training organisations, etc.) and enlarge network influence, and a moderated online learning community as part of a larger web portal giving access to the results of all network activities in progress;
- Activities that are based on a literature review produced and permanently updated by researchers, with a view to ground policy and practice in the most recent evidence available in all countries involved in the network (the number of countries is intended to increase throughout the three year period);
- As well as on the basis of case notes (first phase) on initiatives selected by network partners and drafted by their initiators according to common guidelines, followed-up by detailed case studies (second phase) drafted by researchers and policy analysts about the initiatives considered as the most interesting by the network members; for the most inspiring case studies, videos will be produced (interviews with initiators, classroom practice when applicable, etc.);
- Participation of interested network members to peer learning visits once a year in a country where interesting initiatives have been identified and where the face-to-face meetings at European level will take place;
- A systemic approach in KCD implementation, i.e. looking at interrelated action between different areas through evidence from research as well as case studies, with a view to identifying concrete enablers and obstacles to a holistic approach.