Lise Overgaard Nielsen, Lecturer

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2012
Lise Overgaard Nielsen, Lecturer
Prototypical Situations
In this paper, I solely intend to discuss the purely theoretical aspect of teaching. I.e. the aspect
of teaching that is not, one way or another, directly linked to practice. The thesis on which I
have been working for the last 2 years is that a situation-oriented competence approach to
theoretical teaching may contribute significantly to a reduction in the distance between theory
and practice.
My point of departure is Jeppe Bundsgaard’s concept of situation-oriented competence, based
on the OECD report Key Competencies for a Successful Life and a Well-Functioning Society
(2003). I will, moreover, base my paper on the practice trials that I have personally conducted
in the course of my teaching in the subject of Danish (i.e. mother-tongue teaching) at the first
two years of the teacher-training study and on the developmental work from which the
practice trials originate.
Initially, I will briefly discuss the concept of competence and my choice of Bundsgaard’s
concept and next proceed to outline a prototypical situation. Taking prototypical situations as
a starting point will shift the pivot from being theory as content to being theory as an
instrument of reflection targeted at coping with teaching practice. Through their sympathetic
insight into the second-hand experience communicated in the story and the subsequent
complexity construed by the students, they very much contribute to the creation of the
stimulated reality contained in the prototypical situations.
The implementation of the situation-oriented competence concept has entailed a shift in the
point of departure for the teaching. Instead of asking what knowledge the students need to
acquire, the question rather becomes ”what competence development must the student attain
to become enabled to cope with the prototypical situation?” The answer will be quite a
different one and, hence, result in an entirely different kind of teaching.
University College Zealand
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