Concept: “Gestaltungskompetenz” 2018-03-15T10:27:03+00:00

Brief description of the “Gestaltungskompetenz” concept, the role in the project and first results

The term “Gestaltungskompetenz” was especially affected by the UN World Decade Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) which took place between 2005 and 2014. The term summarizes the competencies needed to participate and help shape sustainable development. The overall goal of ESD is the development of these competencies (Transfer-21 2007).

In the course of the concretization for the area school, Gestaltungskompetenz was defined as the ability, “to apply knowledge about sustainable development and identify problems of non-sustainable development. In other words, analyses of the present and future studies draw conclusions on ecological, economic and social developments in their mutual dependence and make, understand and individually, jointly and politically implement decisions based on that, with which sustainable development processes can be realised” (Transfer-21 2007, p. 12).

In the context of the research project Gestaltungskompetenz can be summarised as the competences to be able to apply knowledge about sustainable development and to identify problems of non-sustainable development. This implies being able to:

a) draw conclusions from present and future studies about potential developments in their mutual dependence;

b) make decisions based on that,

c) understand these decisions and

d) to implement them individually and jointly in terms of sustainable development.

This understanding of Gestaltungskompetenz raises an overarching claim of validity. In the course of this research project, it must be specified what Gestaltungskompetenz as an innovator for highly reliability organizations in healthcare actually implies.

There are different systematisations of the sub-competences of Gestaltungskompetenz. As part of the project, the following is based on the OECD competence category system presented below.

Overview of the sub-competences of Gestaltungskompetenz in relation to the competence categories of the OECD.



Interactive use of media and tools

  • T.1 Competence for taking over perspectives
    Cosmopolitan and building knowledge integrating new perspectives
  • T.2 Competence for anticipation
    To analyse and evaluate developments proactively
  • T.3 Competence for interdisciplinary knowledge production
    Interdisciplinary knowledge gaining and acting
  • T.4 Competence for handling incomplete and overly complex information
    Identify and evaluate risks, threats and uncertainties

Interacting in heterogeneous groups

  • G.1 Competence for cooperation
    Plan and act with others together
  • G.2 Competence for dealing with individual decision dilemmas
    Considering conflicting objectives when reflecting on action strategies
  • G.3 Competence for participation
    Participating in collective decision making processes
  • G.4 Competence for motivation
    To motivate oneself and others to become active

Independent action

  • E.1 Competence to reflect on mission statements
    To be able to reflect on their own and other mission statements
  • E.2 Competence for moral action
    Using ideas of justice as a basis for decisions and actions
  • E.3 Competence for independent action
    Planning and acting independently
  • E.4 Competence to support others
    Showing empathy for others
Source: de Haan et al. 2008, S. 188.


On the one hand, a systematic literature research in the sub-area Gestaltungskompetenz pursued the purpose of checking the use of the concept for educational offers in the field of health. On the other hand, empirical studies on the effect of Gestaltungskompetenz should be identified. Therefore, the databases PubMed and Livivo and Google Scholar were searched. In addition, a search in the databases BASE, EEP, ERIC, FIS Education and SOLIS was carried out via the specialist portal education. The areas of school and environmental education in the narrow sense were excluded because the use of Gestaltungskompetenz in these contexts is well known. The detailed search history is shown in Figure 1.


Flowchart of the systematic literature research on “Gestaltungskompetenz”


Figure 1


From a total of 773 found publications, ultimately 16 publications could be identified and evaluated. The results were recorded in a data extraction table and used as a basis for a conceptual map.




Haan, Gerhard de (2008): Gestaltungskompetenz als Kompetenzkonzept für Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung. In: Inka Bormann und Gerhard de Haan (Hg.): Kompetenzen der Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S. 23–43.
Transfer-21 (Hg.) (2007): Orientierungshilfe Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung in der Sekundarstufe I. Begründungen, Kompetenzen, Lernangebote. Programm Transfer-21. Berlin.



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