European Journal of Education Research, Development and Policy
Our societies have come to be known as knowledge societies in which lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important. In this context, competences have become a much discussed topic. Many documents were published by international organisations (UNESCO, World Bank, European Commission) which enumerated 21st century key competences. The field of learning theories has also experienced advances. Findings from neuroscience have promoted a new understanding of what really happens in the brain when we learn. At the same time, the fact that learning increasingly takes place in virtual communities led George Siemens (2004) to propose connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age. Similarly, Roberto Carneiro (2010) suggested a theory he called generativism which aims at describing collaborative learning with digital technologies and open educational resources. These theories might be better able to describe and explain lifelong learning than classical learning theories.