Teaching for competence in science education in Denmark
Starting in the school year 2015-2016, the idea of competence goals was introduced explicitly into the Danish comprehensive school system. In light of this development, several points call for analysis and discussion. This paper gives a short, critical account of this historical development, critically illuminating the conceptual sources and arguments for the introduction of these ideas, and a short discussion of the practical problems in realising a curriculum document that is organised around the idea of competence goals. The meaning of competence in the Danish case will be compared to different ways that the competence concept is used internationally in curricular documents. Main points are that different meanings of competence are used, but there is not a universal use, and that the complexity of existing definitions make it hard to understand how to work with competence in concrete teaching situations. Nonetheless, the idea of competence is viewed as an important and valuable way for engaging with the more general goals for science education in Denmark (and elsewhere). In service of that interest, we introduce the ideas of germcell and theoretical thinking from the developmental teaching tradition as a way to operationalise a meaning of competence that can be realised in concrete teaching situations.