[GUEST BLOG] Generic Skills: A Dangerous Myth

Check also our article on transfer in American Educator, https://www.aft.org/ae/spring2020/debruyckere_kirschner_hulshof

3-Star learning experiences

This blog was originally posted in Dutch on Didactiefonline by Fred Janssen

Translated by Mirjam Neelen & Paul A. Kirschner

Almost every curriculum document emphasises that learners must learn to solve problems, do research, reflect, self-regulate, acquire information, think creatively, and think critically. Often, it’s incorrectly assumed that we’re dealing with broad, generic skills here, meaning that you can presumably learn them in one domain and then apply in others [Also, see Mirjam and Paul’s blog on 21st century skills]. This is a dangerous myth.

The Common Core

There are lots of lists of so-called generic skills floating around out there. They all have one thing in common and that’s that they’re seen as strategies that you can use if the routines/procedures you normally use are inadequate. They come into play when you want to achieve a goal and you’re not sure how. In other words, you have…

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