Disciplinary Competencies: Basic and Extended

The disciplinary competitions are the basic knowledge that is considered necessary for a person to acquire to have a good command of a field. They are the minimum necessary to understand a specific subject; therefore, each field of study has different competences.

There are also extended disciplinary competences depending on the level of knowledge one wants to achieve. These competences deepen the knowledge acquired with the basic ones and are specific to the most advanced education, such as the baccalaureate.

Disciplinary competences

The definition of basic and extended competences is a fundamental part of the educational process, since without them it is not possible to decide what is necessary for students to learn. Choosing basic and extended competencies appropriate to the level and age of the students helps make the education process much more effective.


  • 1 Basic disciplinary competences
    • 1.1 Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
    • 1.2 Learn to learn
    • 1.3 Awareness and cultural expressions
    • 1.4 Digital competence
    • 1.5 Sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit
    • 1.6 Social and civic competences
  • 2 Extended disciplinary competences
  • 3 References

Basic disciplinary competences

In Spain, the basic disciplinary competences are dictated by the European Union as basic resources that citizens must acquire in order to be properly trained as people. Thanks to these they can achieve a good personal, professional and social development, in such a way that they can adapt to the living conditions of the developed world.

The basic disciplinary competences are defined in terms of a series of fields of knowledge, and have more to do with"know-how"than with theory. Supposedly, with these basic competencies, people must be able to function adequately in practically every situation of daily life.

The areas in which the basic competences are defined are the following:

- Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology.

- Learn to learn.

- Linguistic communication.

- Consciousness and cultural expressions.

- Digital competence.

- Sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit.

- Social and civic competences.

Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology

In a world increasingly influenced by science and technology, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of its functioning and the mathematics that sustain it. In this field, two fundamental competences are included: mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology.

Mathematical competence is related to the ability to understand mathematics and apply them in different contexts, in such a way that they can be used to interpret, describe and predict.

Due to the structure of mathematics, this competence does not only require skills with numbers, but also others such as abstract reasoning, logic and analysis.

The basic competences in science and technology allow the student to better understand the physical world and its role in it. Its basic premise is the understanding of scientific method and thought; therefore, they are also related to rationality and technological capabilities.

Learn to learn

This competence is responsible for teaching students the fundamentals so that they are able to acquire new knowledge on their own in an effective way. In this category are grouped study techniques as well as reasoning, planning and information search capabilities.

On the other hand, from this competition is also to inculcate values ​​such as motivation to learn and proactivity.

Linguistic communication

The competence in linguistic communication consists in acquiring the necessary skills so that an individual can easily develop in social situations, in which he has to interact with other people and communicate with them.

Because there are many different forms of communication, the person must acquire skills in each of them: oral and written communication, reading comprehension and even communication through new technologies.

Within the communication competences we can find several fundamental components:


It includes everything related to the correct use of language, such as syntax, spelling and lexical.

-Practical-discursive component

Related to the ability to correctly use language in different contexts.

-Socio-cultural component

Ability to adapt our communication to different cultures.

-Strategic component

It includes the necessary skills to overcome difficulties and problems that may arise during communication.

-Competence in linguistic communication

Related to personality traits that facilitate adequate communication.

Awareness and cultural expressions

This competence is responsible for everything related to the arts and cultural heritage, both of one's own culture and of others. Students must learn to value artistic expressions and, to a certain extent, to be able to generate them themselves.

Digital competence

Digital competence has to do with the proper understanding and use of new technologies. In this sense, they are concerned both with the safety of users when using these new communication tools, as well as with the ability to learn and adapt to use them appropriately.

Therefore, some of the basic competences in this area are critical thinking about these technologies, the acquisition and treatment of information, and the creation of new content using these tools.

Sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit

Economic studies show that in the near future more than half of the population will be self-employed. Taking into account this new reality, students must learn to prepare and manage their own projects.

This competition includes legal and financial elements, but also emotional and way of thinking; both are essential to create a project of their own that is capable of prospering.

Social and civic competences

In an increasingly globalized world it is essential that people learn how to behave and what is expected of them in different societies and cultures. In addition, they must also be able to adapt to the social environment and relate adequately to it.

Therefore, social and civic competences are responsible for transmitting the fundamental role of each citizen in the world, as well as human rights and our role in fulfilling them.

Extended disciplinary competences

In higher education systems (such as baccalaureate or university education), basic competences are expanded with the so-called extended disciplinary competences.

These competences are ideas and knowledge that gather the acquired with the basic competences, and amplify it in such a way that the people who acquire them are able to face the world more effectively.

Like the basic competences, they are organized around different disciplines, but within them there is a greater division by fields. Thus, we can find extended disciplinary competences for mathematics, for syntax, for social sciences or for biology.


  1. "Disciplinary Competencies"in: CBTIS. Retrieved on: March 12, 2018 from CBTIS: cbtis179.edu.mx.
  2. "Key competences"in: Ministry of education, culture and sport. Retrieved into: March 12, 2018 from the Ministry of education, culture and sport: mecd.gob.es.
  3. "Basic competences"in: Ministry of education, culture and sport. Retrieved into: March 12, 2018 from the Ministry of education, culture and sport: mecd.gob.es.
  4. "Extended disciplinary competences"in: Council for the evaluation of higher average education. Retrieved on: March 12, 2018 from the Council for the evaluation of higher average education: copeems.mx.
  5. "Extended disciplinary competences"in: Dr. Alfonso León de Garay High School. Retrieved on: March 12, 2018 from Dr. Alfonso León de Garay Baccalaureate Center: cbttequixquiac.edu.mx.

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