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What is Skill? (and why does it matter?)
School of Computing, Robert Gordon University),Aberdeen,Scotland, UK.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computing Education Research. (UpCERG)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8465-7629
2023 (English)In: 2023 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), College Station, Texas, USA, 2023Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This Research-to-Practice Full Paper seeks to investigate the concept of Skill within a Competency Framework, such as that described by the CC2020 document. The notion of skill is fundamental to modern educational discourse. As educators, we strive, not only to impart knowledge, but to help students acquire the skills that they need to flourish in the modern academic and professional environments. We admire skillful practitioners and strive to become more skilled at what we do, recognising that skill is tied to an aesthetic sense - that there is something attractive and deeply satisfying about the process and output of skillful practice. Together with knowledge and disposition, the term is also used to denote one of the constituent components of competence. In computing, for example, the CC2020 document proposes curricular development models which promote skills as key ontological elements and emphasises skill acquisition as a major focus in the educational process. While this is undoubtedly an important, evolutionary development in discipline-based pedagogical practice, we feel that there are still foundational questions to be asked about precisely what is meant by definitional terms that form the core vocabulary of this approach. In this paper, we look at the notion of skill and provide a conceptual analysis which tries to distinguish it from other related ideas. We provide an overview of how skill has been seen historically as both a philosophical and sociological construct and what this means for using the term in educational theory. We examine how to usefully define skill, discuss the part it plays in teaching and assessment, and make recommendations for how it can be viewed operationally within a competency framework, such as that proposed by CC2020.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
College Station, Texas, USA, 2023.
Keywords [en]
competency model, knowledge, skill acquisition, demonstration
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science Didactics
Research subject
Computing Education Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-519778DOI: 10.1109/fie58773.2023.10343520OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-519778DiVA, id: diva2:1825533
Conference
ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education
Available from: 2024-01-09 Created: 2024-01-09 Last updated: 2024-01-09Bibliographically approved

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