Complex Problem-Solving in a Changing World: Bridging Domain-Specific and Transversal Competence Demands in Vocational Education

Jonas Neubert, T. Lans, Maida Mustafic, Samuel Greiff, Peer Ederer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The general aim of today’s vocational and professional education is the preparation of individuals for the world of work. In this chapter, the following issues are explored: (1) current trends in cognitive skill assessment, (2) benefits of relating them to well-established approaches to learning and instruction in vocational education and (3) recent developments in (large-scale) assessment of competencies in that education sector. More specifically, assessment approaches are studied which originate in cognitive psychology that utilize computer-simulated microworlds for the estimation of skills directed at an individuals’ interaction with complex problem situations (in which complex problem-solving – or CPS – competence is needed). We inquire whether and how vocational and professional education and the accompanying research can utilize some of the underlying principles and problem features from CPS research and vice versa, such as the inclusion of an assessment directed at the procedural aspects of competence, the inclusion of so-called wicked problems in assessment or the role of domain-specific knowledge in solving complex problems. To this end, we present positive examples from different areas of application in vocational education, highlight benefits of an integration of insights for both competence-based vocational and professional education and complex problem-solving research and discuss the potential and need for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCompetence-based Vocational and Professional Education
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Worlds of Work and Education
EditorsMartin Mulder
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9783319417134
ISBN (Print)9783319417110
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameTechnical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects
ISSN (Print)1871-3041

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