THE EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK: ON IMPLEMENTATION OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION

 

ПОД- СЕКЦИЯ 3. Инновации в области образования.

 

Sizonenko Kateryna

an undergraduate student,

Sukhenko Inna

PhD, Candidate of Philology

Dnipropetrovsk National University named after O. Honchar 

 

 

THE EUROPEAN QUALIFICATIONS FRAMEWORK:

ON IMPLEMENTATION OF SELF-ACTUALIZATION


At the Bergen Conference (May, 19-20, 2005) European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education adopted the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA, comprising three cycles (including, within national contexts, the possibility of intermediate qualifications), generic descriptors for each cycle based on learning outcomes and competences, and credit ranges in the first and second cycles [6]. They committed themselves to elaborating national frameworks for qualifications compatible with the overarching framework for qualifications in the EHEA by 2010, and having started work by 2007.

In order to implement this strategy the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine adopted the resolution «On the National Qualifications Framework in Ukraine» (November 23, 2011, № 1341) [1] that is to be the real background for developing and adopting the documents to direct the strategy and the quality of the Ukrainian education due to the demands of the contemporary economy as well as the European standards which leads to the essential reforms within the society.

The European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) provides a common reference framework which assists in comparing the national qualifications systems, frameworks and their levels. It serves as a translation device to make qualifications more readable and understandable across different countries and systems in Europe, and promote lifelong and life-wide learning, and the mobility of European citizens whether for studying or working abroad. In order to make the EQF work, European countries were invited to relate their national qualifications levels to the appropriate levels of the EQF and to indicate in all qualification certificates, diplomas and documents the relevant EQF level. [3]

This situation as well as the steps dealing with the implementation of the National Qualifications Framework meet the demands as well as events dealing with the various ways of encouraging the self-actualization of personality. Understanding these ways and levels of  the self-actualization of personality gives a chance to set some common standards by putting in place visible, predictable and coherent national systems for defining qualifications on the basis of established quality standards, for assessing learning outcomes and for awarding qualifications including the final transcript and qualification document.

 The description of learning outcomes includes some ways of self-actualization of personality (the process of establishing oneself as a whole person, able to develop one's abilities, ambitions and to understand oneself [7; 8]), stressing knowledge, skills and competences, which defines a learner understands and is capable of doing at the end of a learning process, and for further education.

All the levels of qualification framework deal include such ways of self-actualization of personality as self-study (”a form of study in which one is to a large extent responsible for one’s own instruction” [7], includes reading, research, preparation of presentations, following documentaries and attendance to conferences and seminars, tutorials, assignments and assessment and related organized activities such as informal and non-formal learning [5]) and self-presentation (a goal-directed conscious or unconscious process in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event; they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction [2]), which together with the key competences are important for every level of education but are even more necessary for Level 1 individuals to be employed. [5]

Self-actualization at all EQF levels includes the category of self-responsibility (”a concept of actualization by which individuals assume responsibility for their own actions” [7]). The main emphasis now is on training in skills specific to the job sector, mastery of such skills enable oneself to make judgements, develop problem solving skills, be responsible for self and others. [5]

The descriptors for Level 1 points out that basic skills, required to the qualification of Level 1, includes the ability to apply basic knowledge and carry out limited range of simple tasks, basic repetitive communication skills to complete well defined routine tasks and identifies whether actions have been accomplished; and the ability to follow instructions and be aware of consequences of basic actions for self and others [5]. The descriptors for Level 2 states that self-actualization is encouraged in the sphere of basic factual knowledge of a field, making a person possess good knowledge of a field of work or study, be aware of and interpret types of information and ideas, understands facts and procedures in the application of basic tasks and instructions, as well as select and use relevant knowledge to accomplish specific actions for self and others [5, p. 66]. The descriptors for Level 3 encourage the same ways of self-actualization, but in the category of knowledge they stress the initiative – a person should assess, evaluate and interpret facts establishing basic principles and concepts in a particular field of work or study, and select and use relevant knowledge acquired on his/her own initiative to accomplish actions for self and others. [5, p. 67].

The competences of Level 4 include that a person must exercise self-management within the guidelines of work or study contexts that are usually predictable, but are subject to change, and should supervise the routine work of others, take some responsibility for the evaluation and improvement of work or study activities. This means that a person must apply knowledge and skills to perform qualitative and quantitative tasks that require technical capacity normally associated with a technician’s competence, one should supervises the quality and quantity of work of self and others’ under quality assured structures, with responsibility and autonomy; and demonstrate an advanced level of key competences at this level as a basis for higher education. [5]

At Level 5 a person should exercise management and supervision in contexts of work or study activities where there is unpredictable change; and review and develop performance of self and others. So it is self-revision that makes a person manage projects independently that require problem solving techniques where there are many factors, some of which interact and lead to unpredictable outcomes; show creativity in managing projects, manage people and review performance of self and others; train others and develop team performance; express a comprehensive internalized personal world view reflecting engagement of solidarity with others; and have the learning skills to undertake further studies with some autonomy [5]. EQF Level 5 introduces aspects such as further learning and basic research, personal academic development, judgements on social and ethical issues, personal social responsibility, and the effective and efficient management of projects and colleagues. Level 5 descriptors emphasize the demonstration of technical and practical knowledge, even when communicating with people from different backgrounds. They highlight the present level of achievement and the self-assessment (the process of critically reviewing the quality of one’s own performance and provision [4]) of prospects for career progression through access to higher education, involving team building and mastering of problems. [5]

The descriptors for Level 7 state that specialised problem-solving skills required in research and/or innovation in order to develop new knowledge and procedures and to integrate knowledge from different fields. In order to meet these demands a person must demonstrate specialised or multi-disciplinary knowledge that include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of one’s knowledge and judgements; can communicate to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously work or study related conclusions and knowledge which may be the outcome of research, self-study or experience.

The competences of Level 7 mean taking responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice and/or for reviewing the strategic performance of teams; demonstrating autonomy in the direction of learning and a high level of understanding of learning processes; and having the learning skills to allow continuation to study in a manner that may be autonomous or largely self-directed [5] where self-direction is regarded as ”directed or guided by oneself, especially as an independent agent” [7]. Learning skills in Level 7 include assessing personal continuous professional development, taking initiative to undertake self-directed study and proceeding to further specialization.

Knowledge at Level 7 may be specialized or multi-disciplinary as defined by the level descriptors of the QF/EHEA associated with this level. A characteristic feature of this level is that it introduces original research which has an impact on the need for knowledge, the skills to get the knowledge, evaluate and analyse the competences to produce original writing with responsibility and autonomy. The individual has developed a mastery of the knowledge and skills and is capable of adapting to new technological, economical and social challenges. [5]

Communication and problem solving skills are also shaped by the degree of specialisation, by original research and experience. The judgmental response at Level 7 is done through critical evaluation and with limited and incomplete information. Whereas the learner at Level 6 could choose to specialise in one or more fields of study, professional expertise at Level 7 requires specialisation in a single area of study only. Compared to the responsibilities of the previous level which are restricted to the management of projects and people, Level 7 responsibilities include coming for one’s operations within the organisation, and for adapting to the changing needs of the work or study environment.

Progression in the ways of self-actualization to Level 8 is characterised by an advanced level of expertise in the area of specialisation and knowledge is focused on the area of specialization. Whereas in Level 7 an individual demonstrates capability to adapt to the changing needs of the environment, at Level 8 an individual reaches a level characterised by leadership and innovation in mastering research. [5]

In conclusion, the qualifications framework establishes self-actualization by clarifying learning pathways and progression through level-rating as well as by acting as a focal point for stakeholders to own quality in learning environments. This can encourage national QF to create greater coherence of national reform policies and establish a stronger basis for international co-operation, understanding and comparison. Above all, a qualifications framework is an added value to individual learners (and particularly parents of younger children) in terms of increased consistency, transparency, currency and portability. It is however the stakeholders such as career/school counselors, trainers, recruitment agencies, teachers that ultimately sustain the benefits of quality that a qualifications framework offers to prospective learners.

References:

1. «Про затвердження Національної рамки кваліфікацій України» Постанова Кабінету Міністрів України № 1341 від 23.11.2011// http://zakon2.rada.gov.ua/laws/main/1326289476970265/page5      

2.  Encyclopedia / The Free Dictionary // http://encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com/Self-presentation

3. European Commission: Qualifications Framework // http://ec.europa.eu/eqf/home_en.htm

4.  Glossary / Quality Research International // http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com 

5. Referencing National Qualifications Levels to the EQF and the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area // http://ec.europa.eu/eqf/documentation_en.htm

6. The European Higher Education Area – Achieving the Goals Communiqué of the Conference of  European Ministers Responsible for Higher Education, Bergen, 19-20 May 2005 //  http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/educ/bologna/bergen.pdf 

7. The Free Dictionary // http://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-actualisation

8. Your Dictionary // http://www.yourdictionary.com/self-actualization