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What are the Key Competencies?
Each competency “includes all the skills, knowledge, attitudes and values needed to do something” (Ministry of Education, 2005a, p.7). They are “more than discrete skills and attitudes: they integrate all aspects of learning” (Ministry of Education, 2005a, p.2).

See Rosemary Hipkins's resources below for extra support on definitions. key_comp_brkdwn.doc

Facilitation Strategy:

Rose Hipkins Iceberg activity. Use hard copy hand-outs.
  • Things we already do
  • Things we need to work on
  • Things that will be more challenging to change

Key Questions:

  • What do we know and understand about the key competencies and what they might mean for our students and our school?

  • Can we see opportunities within our current structures and practice for developing the key competencies?

  • How might we teach these?

  • How might we assess these?

The Competencies:

  1. Thinking (creative, critical, and logical thinking, metacognition, self awareness and reflection)

  2. Participating and contributing ( contributing to communities)

  3. Managing self ( making decisions for yourself including goal setting and planning

  4. Relating to others (the knowledge skills attitudes and values necessary for working and interacting with others.)

  5. Using language symbols and texts ( discovering of meaning through the discovery of cue and clues)


  • Key competencies are defined as the competencies needed by everyone across a variety of different life contexts to meet important demands and challenges. Brewerton-2004

  • Key competencies are things all people need to know and be able to do in order to live meaningfully in and contribute to a well functioning society.


Documenting Learning of the Key Competencies: What are the issues? (PDF 726KB)

Release of Polling Data on 21st Century Skills - Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach's weblog entry Oct 10, 2007 about, "A new, nationwide poll of registered voters reveals that Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy."

What would you consider to be too vital to leave out of education? How To Be Successful: Stephen Downes' Top Ten Rules

What Might it Take to Implement the Key Competencies - Breeze server Movie Presentation from Rose Hipkins

//The Nature of Key Competencies – A Background Paper// (PDF 653KB) by Rosemary Hipkins, NZCER.

- A breakdown of each competency. - Rosemary Hipkins ( Word Document)
What would you see in the classroom if key competencies were developing? This list was compiled by teachers from Rangiuru, Otamarakau and Pukehina Schools and Lorraine Watchorn during the Teacher Only Day November 24th 2006. (Word Document)

http://rocky11.blogspot.com/2007_11_01_archive.html Exploring the Key Competencies blog entry experience from Rochelle Jensen.
Key Competencies and How They Relate to Blogging This links to the Effective Practice page in the recent Blogging Online theme in ICT PD Online.
This document outlines today's Iceberg activity.

Key competency iceberg activity and with phrases to cut out and stick. Links to both videos showed during the workshop are included in the document.