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Learn About The Australian Curriculum Lessons

Preparing our youth to be successful in our ever-changing world is no easy task. Especially when we consider that educators may be designing a curriculum to prepare children for jobs they have never heard of.

In 2018, The World Economic Forum predicted that 65% of children entering primary school will end up in a job that does not currently exist.

Australian Curriculum Lessons | Curriculum Development

In hopes to equip youth with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in life, the Australian Curriculum is designed to educate the whole student. From mathematics lessons to lessons exploring values, rights, and responsibilities, the Australian Curriculum is an excellent example of a well-rounded curriculum.

The Australian Curriculum uses a three-dimensional design to educate youth and prepare them to lead fulfilling lives. These dimensions include eight learning areas, three cross-curriculum priorities, and seven general capabilities. 

Eight Learning Areas

The eight learning areas of the Australian Curriculum outline the disciplinary knowledge and content that students should obtain. These learning areas are the traditional school subjects that someone may think of when they are asked to name a class that they took in school.

The eight learning areas are English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education, and Languages.

Within each learning area, the Australian Curriculum specifies the level of understanding that is expected during each year of a child’s education.

Three Cross-Curriculum Priorities

Australian Curriculum Lessons | Curriculum Development

It is within the cross-curriculum priorities that the Australian Curriculum includes lessons to fulfil the educational goals set forth in the Melbourne Declaration. These lessons are categorized within three priorities and are designed to give students the skills they need to help themselves, and Australia as a whole.

Australian Curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories, Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia, and Sustainability.

As stated in the name, these cross-curriculum priorities do not exist in a silo, but rather are infused into daily lessons by being embedded within learning areas. This is done by further scaffolding each priority into three key concepts, and then into subsequent organizing ideas. It is these organizing ideas that are then brought into lesson plans in a variety of learning areas that deepen student learning.

For example, let’s take the priority of sustainability. This priority is broken into three key ideas of systems, world views, and futures. Within the key concept of systems, there are three organizing ideas, one stating that “sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic, and ecological systems.” This organizing idea can then be seen being taught in the Languages curriculum through students’ reading of text related to sustainability.

Seven General Capabilities 

Australian Curriculum Lessons | Curriculum Development

The Australian Curriculum describes their seven general capabilities as skills, behaviours, and dispositions that will give students the skills they need to effectively apply what they know, and respond appropriately to situations inside and outside of school.

The Australian Curriculum’s capabilities are Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capabilities, Ethical Understanding, and Intercultural Understanding.

Similarly to the cross-curriculum priorities, the Australian Curriculum separates each general capability into smaller interrelated key ideas.

For example, the capability of Ethical Understanding is made up of three key ideas: understanding ethical concepts and issues, exploring values, rights, and responsibilities, and reasoning in decision-making and actions. These key ideas are then sprinkled into a wide variety of learning areas, as they teach students lessons about freedom and choosing what is right. In this example, many Ethical Understanding ideas can be found in the humanities and social science lessons.

It is important to note that it is within these seven general capabilities that the Australian Curriculum emphasizes skill-building that is applicable to students’ lives, for many years to come, regardless of their career path.

While technology constantly improves, and the labour market evolves, it is difficult to predict the technical knowledge and skills that students will need for their first job. However, the interpersonal and social skills that are highlighted in the Australian Curriculum’s general capabilities are those that withstand the test of time and remain central to students’ individual success and wellbeing.

Teaching within the Australian Curriculum

Now that we have covered the structure of the Australian Curriculum, we can think about how lessons are developed to fit within the guidelines of this three-dimensional design while remaining engaging to students. 

One way to do this is through the use of e-learning. This does not just mean having students read an article on a computer instead of a book, but rather using an online program to teach lessons in a fresh and fun format. 

Should be easy right? Not so fast.

If you talk to a student who has recently switched to online learning due to COVID-19, it is more than likely that when asked about their lessons, they would not label them as being the most fun or interesting. That is due to the fact that teachers across the globe were forced to migrate their in-person lessons into condensed online material that in most cases, was self-taught by students. This meant that there was little time to insert creativity, add lesson elements to increase student engagement, or promote sharing amongst peers.

More consequently, many students missed out on the lessons that are most critical to their personal development and long-term success, Australian Curriculum’s general capabilities.

Learning General Capabilities Online

Australian Curriculum Lessons | Curriculum Development

As students were remaining safely distantly from their peers and teachers, parents and doctors began to express concern about the consequences this would have on youth’s development. Students were unable to connect with others, develop relationships, or gain confidence through most online schooling options.

While it is difficult for any individual teacher to develop a curriculum to teach some of life’s most critical lessons, Leaders of Evolution has worked with a variety of educators, and the Australian  Curriculum to develop an online platform that does just that.
Designed in direct alignment with the Australian Curriculum, students participating in our courses develop confidence, self-awareness, and social awareness through lessons about character building and leadership development.

Students of today will be the world leaders of tomorrow, and it is our job as educators to provide them with the lessons they need to develop into confident and successful citizens that positively contribute to their society.

To learn more about how Leaders of Evolution can fit into your Australian Curriculum, click here.

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Hannah Hunt

Former Division 1 lacrosse player who is still trying to get her fill of competition through local club sports and intramurals. Hannah is her happiest when doing something active or spending time with friends and family. Currently living abroad with her husband, she stays busy learning the language, exploring new places, and cooking fun recipes.

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