Twenty first century skills vs. disciplinary studies?

Lars Vavik, Gavriel Salomon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper addresses the tension between a discipline-based and a skill and competences-based approach to today's curriculum. The competences-based approach emphasizes the cultivation of market-oriented skills and competencies that people acquire in the knowledge society; it is the driving force behind many educational reforms. The other, more traditional approach emphasizes the acquisition of well organized disciplinary knowledge such as history and chemistry. The differences between learning guided by predetermined educational goals, designed to acquire disciplined knowledge, and the acquisition of daily, net-related interest-driven partly out-of-school skills learning is too large to be ignored. Each of the two approaches has its advantages and drawbacks but jointly they can constitute fruitful curricula. On the one hand, such curricula address the three main purposes of school-qualification, socialization and subjectification-while on the other they address the needs of cultivating 21st Century skills and competences. The latter comes to serve the attainment of the former.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Technology Tools for Real-World Skill Development
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781466694422
ISBN (Print)1466694416, 9781466694439
StatePublished - 19 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, IGI Global. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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