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ERIC Number: EJ1218422
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2369-8659
Beyond the Competencies Agenda in Large-Scale International Assessments: A Confucian Alternative
Tan, Charlene
Philosophical Inquiry in Education, v26 n1 p20-32 2019
This article examines a Confucian conception of competence and its corresponding response to the competencies agenda that underpins international large-scale assessments such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). It is argued that standardised transnational assessments are undergirded by a technical rationality that emphasises proficiency in discrete skills for their instrumental worth at the expense of moral cultivation and personal mastery. Challenging the competencies agenda, this paper draws upon a relational model of competence proposed by Jones and Moore (1995) that views competence as essentially communal, situated within social practices, and manifested through tacit achievement. Building on their work, a Confucian notion of competence is advocated wherein skills are predicated on the virtue of "ren" (humanity) and demonstrated through appropriate judgement in everyday settings. A Confucian perspective offers an alternative to the behaviourist and generic notions of performance in global assessments by highlighting the interpersonal, cultural, and ethical dimensions of competence.
Canadian Philosophy of Education Society. S-FG 6310 Faubourg Ste-Catherine Building, 1610 St. Catherine West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4B 1R6. Tel: 514-758-7813; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC); Program for International Student Assessment