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General Capabilities in the national curriculum

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ President on 20 January 2014
  • The following letter was submitted for inclusion in the letters page of The Australian of Monday 20 January 2014 but was not selected for publication. On this occasion I was writing as a private citizen rather than in my role as ETAQ or AATE president.

In discussing the General Capabilities component of the national curriculum, Bernard Lane concedes that literacy and numeracy are legitimate concerns across subject areas but is dismissive of others such as creative thinking, describing them as “funkier” (“Once more unto the breach”, 18-19/1). The item listed on the Australian Curriculum website is actually “critical and creative thinking”.

In a recent opinion piece in this paper Minister Pyne wrote of the curriculum that “It must be both content-rich and, importantly, focus on the 21st-century skills of critical thinking, team work, problem solving, creativity, analytic reasoning and communication.” (“Putting critical content back into curriculum”, 10/1).

Is the Minister being faddish and funky here or is Lane’s implied criticism misplaced?

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ President
Tags: Curriculum matters

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