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Melinda Apró: A Survey of Options in the Domestic and International Literature for Developing Social Competence and Democratic Thinking

This paper surveys the domestic and international literature on social competence and democratic thinking. It also covers the paradigm shift in education over the last few decades and the accompanying thinking on the development of competences and systems theory as well as new understandings of the personality (Nagy, 2000). Social competence can be defined as a set of motivations and skills which enables us to cooperate effectively with our peers. The purpose of motivating learners is to activate them and to facilitate their participation in the teaching-learning process. The chief skills associated with social competence are social communication skills, social organisation skills, social assertiveness skills, and social learning and teaching skills as well as attendant information, abilities, patterns and habits (Nagy & Zsolnai, 2001). The paper also reviews numerous studies on the content and operation of democratic thinking in the international literature. This research places civic competence in the broader context of democratic thinking. Democratic thinking can be categorized as a cognitive competence in Nagy’s (2000) understanding of personality, involving information about democracy; it also includes complex thinking skills and affective factors necessary for democratic behaviour. The paper further wishes to demonstrate that the components, contexts and development of social competence and democratic thinking intersect at numerous points.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 115. Number 3. 215-238. (2015)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Apró Melinda, SZTE Neveléstudományi Doktori Iskola, H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi Sándor sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia