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Comparing Educational Outcomes Before and After the Bologna Reform – Competencies of Helping Professions Students

Ricijaš, Neven; Huić, Aleksandra; Branica, Vanja
Comparing Educational Outcomes Before and After the Bologna Reform – Competencies of Helping Professions Students // The European Conference on Educational Research
Helsinki, Finska, 2010. (predavanje, međunarodna recenzija, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni)

Comparing Educational Outcomes Before and After the Bologna Reform – Competencies of Helping Professions Students

Ricijaš, Neven ; Huić, Aleksandra ; Branica, Vanja

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, neobjavljeni rad, znanstveni

The European Conference on Educational Research

Mjesto i datum
Helsinki, Finska, 25.-27.08.2010

Vrsta sudjelovanja

Vrsta recenzije
Međunarodna recenzija

Ključne riječi
Competencies; satisfaction; psychosocial work; Bologna; higher education

* Proposal Information (e.g. topic, research question, objective, conceptual or theoretical framework …) In the last decade major organizational reforms have taken place in higher education all over Europe. In the academic year 2005/2006 University of Zagreb (Croatia) started with the new “Bologna” study program. New organizational changes also brought forward conceptual changes and shifts in approaches to educational outcomes. These approaches became competency-based and aim to identify, define and measure outcomes in terms of specific work-related constructs that are relevant to successful job performance (Kurz and Bartram, 2002). New curricula clearly state the competencies students should develop as a result of an educational program as well as a result of a specific course. At the same time different professional associations are defining learning outcomes and competencies students should have at the end of their education (ABECSW, 2002 ; APA, 2002 ; AIEJI, 2003). All these shifts led to our interest in competence research. Since competence is defined as a learned ability to adequately perform a task and encompasses professional knowledge, skills and attitudes, together with personality traits and abilities (Roe, 2002 ; Žižak, 1997), we wanted to study whether students, at the end of their education, feel they can successfully perform specific work-related tasks. Therefore, in the year 2005 we started a longitudinal scientific project “Perceived Competence of Helping Professions Students” to measure perceived level of competence for future psychosocial work among cohorts of psychology, social pedagogy and social work students at the University of Zagreb. In the years 2005 and 2006 we conducted pilot studies (among 227 students - 88 psychology, 80 social work and 59 social pedagogy students) with the aim of defining psychosocial work competencies and developing the instrument for their measurement (Ricijas, Huic and Branica, 2006). In the years 2007-2009 we had the opportunity to include students graduating within the “old” study program and the students graduating from the “Bologna” bachelor study program. A total of 585 students (302 who finished the “old” program and 283 bachelor degree students) participated in these studies. Our findings showed different structure of competencies among “old program” students and bachelor degree students, as well as good metric characteristics of Perceived Competence for Psychosocial Work Scale - PCPWS (Huic, Ricijas and Branica, in print). This year, we shall have the opportunity to include master degree students and to directly compare the perceived competencies of “old program” students with the new master degree students, as well as to compare students after their bachelor and their master program. * Methodology or Methods/ Research Instruments or Sources Used We used several instruments: 1. Questionnaire about satisfaction with general and specific knowledge and skills gained through their study program and about students’ interest in psychosocial work 2. General Psychosocial Competencies Questionnaire – measures the students’ perception of their actual level of the 10 key competencies, and the level of importance of the same 10 competencies for the curriculum 3. Questionnaire about volunteer (practical) work 4. Self-Liking and Self-Competence Scale – SLSC (Tafarodi & Swann, 1995) 5. Perceived Competence for Psychosocial Work Scale – PCPWS (Huic, Ricijas and Branica, in print) To compare master degree Bologna students’ perceived competencies with their competencies after bachelor degrees, as well as to compare them with “old program” students we shall use discriminative analysis and ANOVA. We shall also explore factorial structure and stability of Perceived Competence for Psychosocial Work Scale and its metric characteristics (Cronbach’s alpha and different types of scale validity). * Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings We expect to find differences between two study levels – bachelor and masters degrees, as well as we expect differences when comparing “old program” students to “Bologna” students. The Bologna reform offered us the possibility to improve higher education curricula and to emphasize specific skills needed for everyday practice in the field of psychosocial work, as well as the possibility for students to create their own study curricula through optional courses. Based on this we expect the masters degree students to feel most competent for their future work. We also expect their competencies to be more structured and specific. Results of this research will offer us the possibility to further explore areas to improve our study program curricula as well as the possibility for a wider use of the Perceived Competence for Psychosocial Work Scale. * References 1.ABECSW (2002): Professional Development and Practice Competencies in Clinical Social Work - A Position Statement of the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work 2.AIEJI (2006): A Common Platform for Social Educators in Europe - European Bureau of the International Association of Social Educators, Cild Youth Care Forum, No. 35, 375-389 3.APA (2002): American Psychological Association Statement Policy Statement on Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology, 4.Kurz, R. and Bartram, D. (2002): Competency and Individual Performance: Modelling the World of Work, Organizational Effectiveness: The Role of Psychology, I.T. Robertson, M. Callinan and D. Bartram (Eds) ; p. 227-255 5.Roe, R. A. (2002): What Makes a Competent Psychologist?, European Psychologist, Vol. 7, No. 3, 199-202 6.Žižak, A. (1997): Some Elements of Sociopedagogs' Professional Competence, Criminology and Social Integration, Vol. 5, No.1- 2, 1-10

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja
Psihologija, Pedagogija, Socijalne djelatnosti


Projekt / tema
130-1301422-1420 - Uloga socio-kognitivnih procesa u samoregulaciji i interpersonalnim odnosima (Željka Kamenov, )

Edukacijsko-rehabilitacijski fakultet, Zagreb,
Pravni fakultet, Zagreb,
Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb