A Taxonomy of Generic Skills

A Taxonomy of Generic Skills

Gilbert Paquette (LICEF Research Center, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-839-5.ch007
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Abstract

As mentioned in the previous chapter, research in cognitive science, cognitive engineering, and education all support the idea that human skills can be described as generic processes. These processes develop through learning and working situations in various domains where knowledge is processed. In their relationship to knowledge, generic skills are the active part of human competencies. Depending on the viewpoint we use, generic skills are problem-solving methods, or active meta-knowledge working on other knowledge, or learning objectives to be acquired. The generic skills framework that will be presented here has been built in order to provide a clear view of the relation between knowledge in any application domain and the “intellectual actions” that enable a person to process and build knowledge. When someone has many such opportunities to exercise generic skills, they the re-construction of their own private universe of generic linkages and connections is made possible. In this chapter, we will develop an integrated taxonomy of generic skills. It will incorporate previous work in cognitive science, software and cognitive engineering, and pedagogical design, some of which was presented in Chapter 6. It is an integrated taxonomy because it can apply to different manifestations of human activity: cognitive, emotional, social, or motor, representing generic skills in the form of process-type knowledge models constituting an operational library that can be used for projects in instructional engineering.

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