NUMBER 73 • 24 JULY 2002 • COMPETENCE IN CONTEXT
INDEX OF QUOTES
In defining competencies for teaching and evaluating worker performance, the challenge focuses on how these competencies are used in different contexts with an awareness of meaning, atmosphere, and nature of the activity. The following are a few examples.
Workers listen with an awareness of the meaning of what they are hearing, the atmosphere in which they are listening, and the nature of the listening experience. They know when to listen and not to listen. They have the capacity to give youth their undivided attention. They demonstrate listening techniques, such as giving eye contact and nodding one’s head, and creating and/or adjusting physical space (chairs, lights, noise levels) to accommodate listening. They also demonstrate through attitude and feedback the capacity to understand the meaning of youths’ words and actions.
Waking Youth Up
In waking a youth up, workers demonstrate sensitivity to the meaning of sleep and the transition from sleep to being awake. For example, a worker demonstrates when to raise or lower his or her voice and when to touch or not touch a youth in the morning. Workers also know when to turn on a light or raise a shade as well as how much instruction to expect youth to follow. They foreshadow (review) upcoming events and help youth with chores, such as finding their shoes and making their beds with consideration to each youth’s developmental capacity to complete these chores and the value of doing it together.
Managing Aggressive Behavior
Competent workers create a safe, positive atmosphere with self confidence and awareness. They recognize their own fears and anxieties, yet can say no with a sense of conviction and certainty. They control with their presence rather than with fear or threats. At the same time they try to understand the meaning of the youth’s behavior. They ask themselves, How is he or she feeling? What does the world or situation appear like through his or her lens? Is his or her assessment of what’s going on the same as mine? From his or her perspective, what purpose does this behavior serve? Is my response, non response, action, or reaction, appropriate?
— MARK KRUEGER and CAROL STUART
Krueger, M. and Stuart, C. Context and competence in work with children and youth. Child & Youth care Forum, 28 (3), June 1999, pp.200-201