The main goal of an educational system is to support citizens in their development and to equip them with knowledge and skills. Traditional education offers structures with a strong focus on context-independent knowledge and standardized socialization processes, which stimulate the internalization of existing political, cultural and social traditions and practices. The underlying didactic-pedagogical vision is based on a narrow rationality and a strict institutionalized framework which offers people the opportunity to develop generic competencies. Citizens apply these generic competencies during different stages of their life to influence their immediate environment during their pursuit of quality of life.
A modern choice biography recognizes citizens as the actors and authors in their life. Within this context, the focus of a contemporary education system is to add value to the individual context without losing sight of the normative, structural and societal responsibility. Within a knowledge-driven economy and sense-making based society, an effective education system provides development opportunities that reach beyond the conventional methods. A sole focus on credentials using subjective teacher-centered approaches is insufficient to strengthen citizens to be successful in a risk-society that no longer offers guarantees.
A contemporary education system matches the changes in society and the evolving expectations of citizens. It recognizes the limitations and the impermanency of theoretical knowledge and appreciates the wisdom of practical life. It respects the existing traditional practices and values subjectivation in education with an emphasis on interactive, learner-centered teaching methods focused on four interconnected competencies.
The first competency is the intra-personal which is focused on the role of developing the self-confidence, willpower and faith in one’s individual talents and skills to influence life in all circumstances. The second focus is interpersonal competencies and the social knowledge and skills to cope with new situations and to communicate effectively in fluid, multi-disciplinary networks. The third focus is the societal competencies which include a critical awareness of the individual capabilities and the practical skills to apply existing resources and to mobilize new resources within a given context. Lastly, is the focus on developing ethical competencies to make responsible choices while fulfilling a purposeful, meaningful role in a multicultural environment.