Competence in the subjectsCore curriculum

School shall understand that teaching and training in the subjects is linked to the values and principles the entire education path is based on.

Learning subject content is a key part of the educational and all-round development mission of primary and secondary education and training. The subject curricula establish the content of the various subjects and are based on the following definition of competence:

Competence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to master challenges and solve tasks in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and situations. Competence includes understanding and the ability to reflect and think critically.

This understanding of the competence concept must underpin school's work with the subject curricula and the assessment of the pupils' competence in the subjects. The competence goals in the subjects must be considered together, both in and across the subjects. The competence goals must also be understood in light of the objectives clause and the other sections of the curriculum.

Knowledge means being familiar with and understanding facts, concepts, theories, ideas and relationships in various subject fields and topic areas. Skills are used to master actions or procedures in order to carry out tasks or solve problems, and comprise, for example, motor, practical, cognitive, social, creative and linguistic skills. The competence concept also includes understanding and the ability to reflect and think critically in subjects, which is vital for understanding theoretical reasoning and for carrying out practical tasks. Reflection and critical thinking are part of developing attitudes and ethical judgment.

School must provide room for in-depth learning so that the pupils develop understanding of key elements and relationships in a subject, and so they can learn to apply subject knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. In their work in the subjects, the pupils shall be given tasks and participate in varied activities with increasing complexity. In-depth learning implies applying knowledge and skills in different ways so that over time the pupils will be able to master various types of challenges in the subject, individually and in interaction with others.

The teachers and school leaders must regularly reflect on the connection between the teaching and training in the subjects and the overriding goals, values and principles for the teaching and training.