Competences and dispositions
What output do we have with well-being and involvement in mind? We pursue the following competences and dispositions with the EXE:
Healthy emotional basis
The emotional basis indicates how someone interacts emotionally. We can speak of a cool emotional development if someone feels good about themselves, has a positive self-image and has sufficient self-confidence. Such a person possesses sufficient resilience to not get down to business, but goes in search of solutions to deal with setbacks in life. A healthy emotional basis offers the strength to stay with your experience, to live through, despite the sometimes painful content. After all, children are already ‘in trouble’, becoming big is sometimes accompanied by difficult to digest experiences. When such experiences are not properly processed, they continue to exert a disturbing influence on behavior and socio-emotional difficulties can arise. These can be limited and transient, but they can also create lasting inadequate behavioral and emotional patterns such as panic reactions in difficult situations, excessive perfectionism and an inappropriate sense of guilt. Paying attention to and strengthening the emotional base must therefore be a priority in education.
Exploration is the disposition to feel so addressed by environmental stimuli (arousal), that follows a chain of actions (approach, view, manipulate, search for extra information …) that is accompanied by great involvement and in a sharper representation of the reality in question.
Exploration drive includes a high level of accountability for everything that presents itself in reality, an open mind, curiosity, alertness and an irresistible urge to experience and experience new things. In addition, one must also be able to easily bring into a state of stimulation (arousal) in which the whole consciousness is focused, ready to absorb and to seize reality.
What exploration drive eventually leads to is a change in the basic insights and basic skills. After all, the exploration drive guarantees that someone, based on his ‘pattern of needs’, keeps searching for experiences that are at the border of what he already knows and understands. The stronger and the wider this explorative attitude, the greater the chance that lifelong learning will take place. Promoting this exploration drive is therefore much more important than the ‘sterile transfer of knowledge luggage’.
A basic attitude of connection with oneself, people around them, the material world, society, nature and the whole of life is the core of value education. It grows through experiences of the incomparable satisfaction in caring for, nurturing, giving opportunities, seeing growth and thriving of people and things. In short, when loving.
The term ‘connectedness’ refers to the importance of relationality in the development of a child. After all, a person only exists in relation to the other person. “To be is to be related” (Wielemans in Dossche, 2003, page I). It is therefore very important that children gain positive experiences in these relationships; experiences that can nestle in the child, so that the experience of being in-relationship can consciously be part of his being as a person. This development of a basic attitude of respectful dealing with the environment is crucial for a cool emotional development.
Connectedness presupposes on the one hand an open, exploratory attitude, an interest that must result in a cognitive involvement (intense mental activity). In addition, there is also an affective component. There is a positive feeling in the experience of connectedness. In other words, the basic attitude of solidarity is the disposition to let the other and the other be and to have a positive feeling at the sight of it, to feel wonder and admiration, to be generous and sympathetic, to enjoy what is beautiful, true and good. It is the disposition to love.
Experiences of connectedness nestle in our experience flow and guide our experience of value. It ensures that we become sensitive to situations where it does not go well from ethical principles. Because we feel connected with the other and the other, we can not be (anymore) indifferent and look the other way. In other words, solidarity leads to an attitude of respect. Not because it should or should be so, but because we choose it ourselves and permanently.
Connectedness can be described in five interventions:
The bond with oneself: the degree to which someone feels in their personal individuality, with their own personality traits, desires and feelings.
The bond with the other (s): the social relationships that people enter into with others around them. The other is always approached in a respectful way and acknowledged in his individuality, in his differentness.
The bond with the material world: the spontaneous care that is shown with regard to certain objects and materials, that is to say to what extent they are intrinsically valued and, as it were, ‘automatically’ deal with them in a respectful way.
The connection with society: this presupposes a fundamental layer of solidarity with humanity as a whole. This makes it impossible to develop a hostile relationship with other groups, but ensures an unconditional respectful attitude towards the various subgroups in society.
The bond with nature and the whole of life: the consciousness to be part of a larger whole, the consciousness that there is more than the here and now, than what we really experience.
Gross motor skills
Competence in the area of gross motor skills refers to the way in which one can use and ‘manage’ his body in all kinds of movement situations. The question here is whether the different parts of the body can be coordinated in function of a specific goal, which in turn presupposes a good body scheme. Also the coordination of the different parts of the body and the control of the musculature in function of a certain goal or task, are important aspects related to this competence.
Fine motor skills
Competence in the field of fine motor skills has to do with the way in which agility can be demonstrated in dealing with all kinds of small tools and materials that require close coordination. Fingerlessness, dexterity and eye-hand coordination are important skills here. In other words, small motor skills have to do with the dexterity that a person possesses in order to deal with all kinds of fine material in a smooth and accurate manner.
In the active sense, language skills are about controlling language as an ‘instrument’ to express something you experience, feel or think in a surefire and penetrating way (oral or written), making the original experience or thought words become sharper for themselves and at the same time accessible to others. Vocabulary and grammar are important aspects of language proficiency, but the expressive aspects of language use also have an important place. In a passive sense, language skills are about the competence to quickly understand what others are saying.
The non-verbal, visual representation is the competence to fully express something that you perceive, experience, feel or think in a surefire way. It is about whether a child is sensitive to aesthetic aspects and whether he can use visual expressions (drawing, painting, craftwork) to express his own intuitions and feelings. This expressive expression is therefore at the same time a means to process all kinds of experiences and emotions and to sharpen it for itself. On the other hand, visual representation also has a passive component, in particular the extent to which the visual expressions of others are understood and appreciated.
Someone who is musically very expressive has a well-developed audience for music and can perceive complex compositions, melodies, sizes and rhythms, and coherence in sounds in a differentiated way and enjoy these shades. He can empathize with the moods, experiences and intuitions that are expressed through sounds. Moreover, he can actively use music as a means of expression and experiment and improvise with voice and / or instruments in a meaningful way.
Being able to move in others, in their feelings, in their intentions and in their perceptions and thoughts, that is the core of social competence. This forms the basis for understanding and predicting people’s behavior in a range of situations and for dealing with others in an adequate manner. The ability to roll out is crucial. Role-making relates to being able to move in people, at a certain intuitive sense of what goes on in the other. Having a feeling with your own experience flow promotes this ability to roll out. There are three types of role: (1) affective (feelings of others), (2) conative (intentions and motives of others), and (3) cognitive (how others perceive a particular situation and what thoughts this situation evokes in them) .
In order to build successful interactions with others, one must also have a broad behavioral repertoire. One must know how one asks for help, how one expresses affection, how one makes clear what one wants and does not want, … On the other hand, one must also have a certain sense of what is the most opportune and effective intervention in a given situation, whereby makes an important contribution. In other words, a socially competent person has social cognition and social skills. Whether this cognition and skills are used for the better or for the worse is left in the middle of this competence. A child with the necessary insights and skills will not necessarily use it to deal with others in a positive way. After all, acquired social skills can also be used to manipulate or deceive the other. This fact also demonstrates a strong social competence.
Understanding the social world
This competence includes an explicit interest in society themes (here and elsewhere, in the past and in the present) and has a developed idea of the principles and processes that form the basis of the functioning of communities: to create communities, to provide basic care, to create legal certainty, to produce and trading of goods, realizing education and development, conducting policy, developing culture and creating and using means of communication.
Understanding the physical world
Understanding the physical world involves having a grip on physical reality, going from matter to living beings. This competence is apparent from being able to imagine how objects behave in all sorts of situations, whether or not in combination with each other. Predicting the effects that interventions on objects, organisms and living beings are also a core aspect of this competence. It involves a certain intuitive feeling of all kinds of laws and phenomena that occur within the physical world, have ‘feeling’ for it.
Mathematical and logical thinking
Mathematical and logical thinking refers to ‘abstraction’, or the transcendence of the concrete. This includes whether a child can organize his observations into categories, whether it has insight into spatial relationships, time and quantities and whether it spontaneously makes reasoning by establishing relationships between phenomena and laws.
Self-management is the ability to get rid of oneself and achieve the highest possible quality of life by making good use of the opportunities available to those who are available in the environment. It includes (1) willpower, (2) choose direction, (3) devise and implement a scenario, and (4) distance.
- Willpower: the ability to put something behind. This is expressed, among other things, in the ability to concentrate, in determination and frustration tolerance.
- A sense of direction: being able to make choices and set goals. Know that you are not just surrendered to the flow of events, but that you can ‘feel’ what you want.
- Design and implement scenarios to achieve these goals: you have to be able to come up with a starting scenario and convert this into action. Gradually you have to be able to summon (and execute) images of the steps to be taken, taking into account what actually presents itself.
- Taking distance: you have to regularly evaluate and adjust, to check whether the available possibilities are still optimally used in the light of the set goal.
If we add a healthy dose of creativity to the above, we speak about entrepreneurship. It is the ability to see opportunities and come up with initiatives in a given situation. Entrepreneurship makes people pioneering and creates new things. Entrepreneurship is best seen as a mix of self-management and creativity. Enterprising individuals are those who combine self-management with a dose of imagination and creativity, who are bursting with ideas, find original solutions and come up with unexpected proposals … Entrepreneurs often see what is not there yet, they see the ‘hole in the market’. However, entrepreneurship is not limited to coming up with ideas. These questions to be realized. Entrepreneurship includes four components that are also involved in self-management: (1) choosing willpower, (2) direction, (3) devising and executing a scenario, and (4) taking distance. However, entrepreneurship goes further than self-management, since you can be proactive. An enterprising person dares to take new paths, pushing boundaries and adding new things to his life.
Creativity is described as the disposition to generate many unique ideas that fit in with the context of a particular problem or a specific, implicit or unspecified task. Typically a person with a lot of creativity is that he can not stay with one given. The person makes all kinds of associations, makes all kinds of connections, even between very different elements. He can view things from different angles and flexibly deal with a given. It is striking that this often ‘happens’ to the person: it all happens in a flash and in an intuitive way. Imagination and inspiration are therefore often core aspects of creativity. A healthy dose of curiosity, wonder and interest often stimulate creativity. Being creative does not mean, however, that one goes without obligation. Creativity does have a well-defined function. A creative person wants to produce something that realizes his plans and intent. He will often keep searching until his goal is reached, consciously or unconsciously. Furthermore, we can suspect that creativity is rather domain-bound. A child can be very creative from a linguistic point of view, but have little creative input in the visual field. Both the intrinsically present exploration drive and a certain stimulation from the family exert an important influence on the ability of children to smoothly create all sorts of novelties, and thus their creativity.