Dimensions of Competence | Gauhati University B.Ed Notes

Dimensions of Competence

Almost all human beings acquire language to the level of native competency before the age of five. Although researchers have debated how such a feat can be accomplished, yet it is agreed that children acquire language through an interplay of biology and environmental factors. Competency is the consistent application of knowledge and skill to the standard of performance required in the workplace. It implies the ability to transfer and apply skills and knowledge to new situation and environments. Competency include the capacity to perform individual task, manage range of different tasks, respond to breakdowns and deal with responsibilities of the workplace. A perosn is defined as competent when they are able to transfer their skills and knowledge to the demands of the situations. 

A competent person demonstrate his ability to apply knowledge and skill seccessfully  in his working environment. Success is measured by the performance criteria set down in a series of standards. The standards of competence focuses on-

a. Expectation- What can you expect from a person at this level?

b. Application– Can the person apply what he or she has been taught?

c. Outcomes– What will be the outcomes?

d. Variable Conditions– What range of contents can the new skills been applied to?

e. Range of transferance– Can the new skills be transferred to new situations?

These standards directly relate to the four dimensions of competency required for every person to be successful in their working environment. These are-

a. Task skills- Performing the task at required level.

b. Task management skills- Able to do more than one task at a time while managing each of them well.

c. Contigency management skills- Responding appropriately to irregularities or breakdown in the routine within a job.

d. Job or role environment skills- Able to deal with the responsibilities and the expectation of the working environment.

Procedural or Method of Competence

Procedural competence refers to the type and level of behavior require in relation to a specific skill to achieve a successful outcome. The requirements vary according to the context in which procedures and perform and according to the level of difficulty or complexity or the require procedure. It often involves the acquisition of psychomotor skills.

Procedural competence is learner focused with the instructor in the role of a facilitator. it allows the learner to learn those skills that they find challenging at their own pace and practice as well as refine them till they can demonstrate mastery. Procedural competence provides opportunity for continuous monitoring of an individual’s professional competence.

Procedural or Method of Competence​

Successful implementation of the pedagogical process is determined not only by content but also at the procedural level- methods, tools and forms of organizations of learning. Along with the traditional methods, active learning methods are also necessary to develop professional competence. Creating a favourable atmosphere at the begining of the course also helps in promoting learning. It bring comforts in communication, improves emotional well-being, and positively effects the development of communicative competence of students.

Subject Specific Knowledge

Subject knowledge is a significant factor throughout the learning process, whether planning work, checking learning, diagnosing pupil’s weaknesses, designing task, presenting information, asking questions for providing feedback; a good subject knowledge is crucial. A teacher has to know and understand the material that they are expected to teach in order to support pupils learning. An understanding of the subject, knowledge of the pedagogical skill and understanding are keys to successful practice.

However, many of us do not even consider that language is central to all domains of knowledge. But it is an accepted fact that language is not to be underestimated in its role as the transmitter and constructor of knowledge.

Subject Specific Knowledge

In the process of constructing knowledge, language across the curriculum (LAC) should appear as a reluctant theme. We forget that all classes have children with different voices and all of them blame certain systems of knowledge to the school. Therefore, recognition of multilingualism and child’s potential are much essential and any educational program that ignores these facts is bound to fail.

It generally refers to the facts, contents, theories principles that are taught and learn is specific academic courses. The more the teacher know about their subjects, the better they will be at teaching. However, there is agreement in the fact that it should be phased in over time so that the limitations do not stand in their way. Subject knowledge comes in three forms-

a.       Content Knowledge: This is what most pupil simply think of as ‘knowledge’, the kind of knowledge that comes from textbooks and reference books.

b.       Curricular Knowledge: It refers to the knowing of the formally defined curriculum.

c.       Pedagogic Subject Knowledge: This is the knowledge that helps the practitioners or even teachers to teach and provide support as children develop their own personal subject knowledge. 

Ability to Evaluate

According to linguists, the ability to evaluate language objectively is a necessity in children. This ability pre- supposes that the child not only as a code for reality but as an object of thought also in its own right. The child must be able to reflect upon his language as much as he reflectes upon more tangible events. He/she must be able to regard language independently of the reality it refers to. This amounts to the ability to look at language rather than through language. Children do have problems considering language in this objective manner. This nature of trouble is not enough clear but to finding to substantiate it.

a. Young children do not appreciate the arbitrariness of the relation between words and their references.

b. Children find immediate events quite compelling.

Ability to Communicate

Language and other means of communication are crucial to learning different subjects in schools other than language as a subject. There are many expectations of learners in other subjects with respect to their communicative competence. These competences are an integral part of learning. But the language neede is more than the ordinary communicative skills developed in everyday life and thus the academic language has to be taught and learnt deliberately.

Whatever the subject, all knowledge building in the school context involves working with language. Some learners need particular help because they do not have the environmental support that is required to develop ordinary language competence and evenness. The academic language communicative competence is the degree to which a communicators goals are achieved through effective and appropriate interactions. Spitzberg defined communicative competence as the ability to interact well with others. By ‘well’ we means accuracy, clearity whereas comprehensiveness, experties, effectiveness and appropriateness. Communicative competence is measured by if and to what degree the goals of interaction are achieved. Its function is to maximize the achievement of ‘shared meaning’.

A useful framework for understanding communicative competence was designed by Spitzberg and his associate and it is known as the component model of competence. It comprises of three specificdimensions- motivation, knowledge and skill. The model states that the communicative competence is mutually defined by interdependence of the cognitive components (knowledge of understanding), the behavioral component (skill) and the effective component (attitude and feelings) by the person communicating in an inter-personal encounter within a specific content. This model divides motivation into two separate elements-

a. Sensitivity- The ability to show concern and respect for others.

b. Committment- The desire to avoid prior mistakes and find better ways of communicating through the process of self monitoring. Communicative competence depends on the context in which the interaction take place.

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