1 The key competencies should be seen as being relational. They bring together attributes possessed by individuals and the contexts in which, through performance, these attributes are demonstrated. They are at a higher level of complexity than other more simple competencies, i.e. they bring together more attributes, but they do not exist without a context. So problem solving' or collecting, analysing and organising information', for example, should not be thought of as discrete competencies additional to other competencies or as somehow underpinning other competencies. There is no such thing as the generic competency of problem solving—only individuals bringing together the appropriate attributes in a particular context to solve the specific problem that confronts them. Thus the key competencies are really no more than complex' competencies as defined in the integrated model of competence. They will almost always be employed in combination with other simple competencies where single attributes (e.g. recalling some aspect of knowledge) are necessary but not sufficient to complete a task. In effect, the key competencies will never stand alone. There are likely to be some similarities between the combinations of attributes required to solve a problem in similar contexts. So in solving problems in social work with troubled juveniles, for example, different social workers will use many of the same combinations of attributes. Even in this restricted arena, however, every problem will be unique, and
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Publication information: Book title: Dimensions of Adult Learning: Adult Education and Training in a Global Era. Contributors: Griff Foley - Editor. Publisher: Open University Press. Place of publication: Maidenhead, England. Publication year: 2004. Page number: 290.
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