Heutagogy (Wait what?) and skills

During the great “Apprentiscène” evening, on April 9th, I heard once again this statement: “Make apprenticeship a field of excellence”. Since the ICT Spring of 2015, when I first presented my idea of a skills aggregator for the benefit of all, going so far as to submit a handwritten letter to the Minister of Education of Luxembourg, Claude Meisch, I have always been convinced that the very notions of competence and the field of study should be reviewed.

ather than considering one or more fields of excellence, I prefer to talk about completely rethinking the process of learning itself. The priority of training policies is access to qualifications.

A large number of “boxes” have been created, ranging from initial to continuing training, by cutting out primary, secondary, university, vocational training, retraining… History has, it is true, not always been tender with apprenticeship, sometimes rejecting it as a dead-end street.

The establishment of the CPF is based on the desire to enable each individual to progress over the course of his or her professional life (Labour Code)

In a so-called heutagogical pedagogy, learners acquire both skills and abilities, competence being the implementation of learning outcomes in an appropriate way in a defined context (education, work, informal), and capacity being characterised by the learner’s confidence in his or her competence and ability to take appropriate and effective measures to solve problems.

Through this prism, the principle of blocks of competence that we hear so often about takes on its full meaning. If we grant “Competence Block” with the meaning given by the National Commission for Professional Certification, we get:

  • An identified part of a professional certification registered with the RNCP
  • A homogeneous and coherent whole
  • A block identified by a unique reference: it is specific to a particular certification
  • A certified block, which implies an evaluation of competencies and a validation of the acquisition of competencies (issuance of a certificate)

The assessment of student achievement in the areas of training of the common base is done in conjunction with teaching standards.

Pupils’ achievements in each of the training areas of this common foundation are assessed during the school year on the basis of the knowledge and skills expected at the end of the training cycles. The personal skills booklet makes it possible to monitor this learning progress.

This conversion of referentials into competencies is a major evolution of this century, and the related skills require continuous reflection on the learning process, communication and teamwork. This evolution offers a particular insight into the contribution of heutagogy, which redefines the very concept of the curriculum. Some principles can seem destabilizing:

In an e-learning context, a principle of the willingness to learn by oneself is added. As a learner, I build my own path. This path is full of stones, skills I want to acquire. How to go this way? If my path is the same as my neighbour’s, will we finally have the same experience?

In this vision, there are no chains of excellence or garage tracks, but a path adapted to the very personal excellence of each and everyone.

Let’s end with a bold comparison between traditional e-learning and heutagogical e-learning.

When it came to transposing road maps into digital form, two models were opposed:

The Google model: it was a question of compiling all the existing maps to make a gigantic electronic map
The Waze model: the user creates the map. When it circulates, the new electronic map is created, based on the most frequent and relevant routes, it is a cartography based on the

Heutagogy means entrusting learners with their own path, a path that will be anything but linear, anything but predictable. In my opinion, this creative vision of training is today’s response to the need for skills upgrading, new professions, new use and new technologies.

It’s the first milestone of 2.0 e-learning .