Competency-Based Training Versus Teacher Training in Professional Performance: A Debate in Educational Sciences Programs

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competency-based model, intercultural competencies, intercultural education, interculturality, teacher education


The purpose of this article is to conduct a descriptive-interpretative analysis of the systematized and emerging theoretical assumptions in academic literature in initial teacher training, which show hints of a model based on professional performance as an alternative in contexts of social and cultural diversity. The article is based on an intercultural educational approach which has an indigenous perspective. This raises the urgency of rethinking teacher training processes in relation to indigenous and intercultural contexts based on appraisal and respect for indigenous children and young people's episteme, who hold cultural, ethnic, and linguistic differences. This article discusses the main limitations of the competency-based training model in educating teachers who take on inclusion and diversity of indigenous individuals as part of their professional performance. This research is qualitative and is grounded on content analysis of literature selected from internationally renowned databases. The literature review was organized around three areas of professional education: teaching, research, and practice. Results taken from this search were interpreted from the perspective of the educational model of the universities of the Araucanía region, Chile. An intercultural context that is characterized by a high enrollment of students from indigenous and rural communities. Results show associations among conceptual, attitudinal, procedural, and relational contents in professional training areas that might be subject of reconceptualization, this is, to enlarge the scope in the initial teacher training model by including intercultural professional performance in the context of social and cultural diversity. These areas fall into three categories: (a) development of intercultural critical thinking, (b) autonomous search of intercultural knowledge, and (c) intercultural communication, which are interpreted as useful for professional performance and are highly recommended in literature for their inclusion in educational sciences curricula.


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Author Biographies

Lazaro Blanco-Figueredo, Universidad Catolica de Temuco

Lázaro L. Blanco-Figueredo, Ph.D. in Educational Sciences from the Universidad Católica de Temuco (UCT), Chile, having 20 years of experience in undergraduate and graduate education in Chile and abroad. He has taken part in several national and international research projects. Lines of research: initial teacher training, educational innovation, and intercultural education.

Katerin Arias-Ortega, Universidad Católica de Temuco

Katerin E. Arias-Ortega, Ph.D. in Educational Sciences from Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile. Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Católica de Temuco (UCT), Chile. Associate researcher at the Laboratoire d'études, de recherche et de didactique de l'univers social-LERDUS Campus de Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, Canada. Line of research: Education and interculturality.


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How to Cite

Blanco-Figueredo, L., & Arias-Ortega, K. (2023). Competency-Based Training Versus Teacher Training in Professional Performance: A Debate in Educational Sciences Programs. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 10(3), 190–212.



Original Manuscript
Received 2022-09-26
Accepted 2023-06-26
Published 2023-08-14