Prestaties in het primair onderwijs: een onderzoek naar trends in competenties
Hoff, M.L.L. van
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The present master thesis describes trends in competencies within primary education in the Netherlands. The aim of this study is to declare why the focus lies on cognitive competencies like reading, mathematics and language, instead of more social competencies like working together, presenting yourself and work attitude. First, a theoretical framework of competencies in the Netherlands and a policy change model are described. Policy changes in the educational field took place in the context of external pressure from politics, changes in environment and an increasing focus on measurement. In the public sector, and therefore also the educational sector, the focus on measurement means an emphasis on hard performance indicators, like the 'Citotoets' and ‘Referentieniveau’s’. Analyses were based on newspaper articles of four national newspapers: De Telegraaf, de Trouw, de Volkskrant and NRC-Handelsblad during a decade (1 January 2001 until 1 May 2011). The search for relevant newspaper articles took place with the help of keywords based on actors and competencies. The actors were the politics, the ‘Onderwijsinspectie’, the educational field and the parents of children of primary schools. The results of this study show that the ‘Citotoets’ and the ‘Referentieniveaus’ contribute to a focus on cognitive competencies instead of social competencies. Moreover, the Politics and ‘Onderwijsinspectie’ have a great influence on the emphasis on cognitive competencies during the previous decade. The increasing interest in cognitive competencies is explained by the focus of politicians on the ability to measure results. Indeed, cognitive competencies are more able to measure performance in education, instead of abstract social competencies.