Competencies and curricula: Two case stories of two-dimensional curriculum development

Curricula around the world make more and more use of goals trying to capture different kind of processes for the students to master. In Denmark these ambitions have most recently been described in terms of subject specific competencies. However, bringing such ambitions into the actual teaching practices has proved challenging. KOMPIS was a longitudinal project aimed at developing and examining ways of dealing with some of these challenges in lower secondary Danish classrooms in collaboration with teachers. In this paper, we present aspects relevant to mathematics and science curricula. As a key point of this analysis we present a two-dimensional content model derived from KOMPIS that proved useful in supporting competence-based curriculum development and teacher planning. We argue that curriculum descriptions of competency objectives need to be clear and distinct as well as independent of subject matter to be operational.