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Bosnia-Herzegovina’s ‘CCC’ focuses on key competences and learning outcomes



A new Common Core Curriculum (CCC) Framework, defined by learning outcomes has been developed in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to determine education provision from pre-school level to the end of secondary education. The new CCC places an enhanced focus on competence-based learning outcomes as part of a fundamental effort to improve teaching and learning in BiH. It is hoped that the changes will result in improved student achievements through the acquisition of knowledge, necessary skills and positive attitudes.

The development of the common core curriculum, has been led by the Agency for Pre-Primary, Primary and Secondary Education and has involved representatives of pedagogical institutes, ministries of education, class and subject teachers from primary and secondary schools, university professors from BiH and international experts and advisors over the period from 2012-2018.

The European Reference Framework, which outlines eight Key Competences, was used as the basis for the BiH curriculum framework, with two more competences being added, relating to creativity and physical-and-health. These ten key competences, which are considered vital for further education, work and daily life in the 21st century, have been integrated into all subjects, in order to orientate the previously content-based curriculum, towards one that focuses on broader 21stC competences.

Eight curriculum areas have been defined, which cover Language and Communication, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Science and Humanities, Technics and Information Technology, Art, Physical and Health Education, and a Cross-Curricular Area. Bloom's revised taxonomy has been used to ensure that cognitive development is included within learning outcomes, as well as an emphasis on psychomotor skills and affective development. Altogether,16 CCC documents have been published, including two guidelines to support their implementation, among them guidance on pre-school education to inform the development of comprehensive support programs by relevant ministries of education and pedagogical institutes.
  • Within the language and communication area, the CCC for mother tongue and for foreign languages were developed in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) setting five levels of language competence.
  • Within the CCC for mathematics, the application of mathematics to everyday life is highlighted as a primary goal.
  • Within Natural Science, the CCC areas include: Natural Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, My Environment, Nature and Society, Nature and Biology, and Society and Geography.
  • The goal of the CCC for Technics and Information Technology is to enable students to apply technical, technological and ICT knowledge in everyday life.
  • The CCC for the Arts includes a focus on visual arts and on music culture.
  • The CCC for the cross-curricular area focuses on entrepreneurship, career orientation and anti-corruption.
As indicated at the outset, the development of a curriculum based on key competences and learning outcomes is a fundamental part of the process of improving teaching and learning and the overall education systems in BiH. It is hoped that these change will lead to improved student achievements based on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and positive attitudes.

Marija Naletilić, Head of the Common Core Development Unit, Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education.