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General capabilities

In the Australian Curriculum (2013), ‘general capabilities’ encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that, together with curriculum content in each learning area and the cross-curriculum priorities, will assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century. The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities, namely: literacy; numeracy; Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability; critical and creative thinking; personal and social capability; ethical understanding; and intercultural understanding. Students develop capability when they apply knowledge and skills confidently, effectively and appropriately in complex and changing circumstances, both in their learning at school and in their lives outside school. The encouragement of positive behaviours and dispositions underpins all general capabilities. While each of the capabilities covers a particular body of learning, it should be noted that some knowledge, skills, dispositions and behaviours are shared across capabilities. In some cases, a particular aspect of one capability is covered in another, for example, the application of social and ethical protocols in the use of digital technologies is included in ICT capability. When combined in learning area contexts, general capabilities enhance and complement each other. The capabilities are intended to be ‘general’ and operate across the whole curriculum. More ‘specialized’ knowledge and skills are detailed in learning areas, particularly in relation to literacy, numeracy and ICT. (Source: ACARA 2013).

See also ‘Key competences/competencies or skills’, ‘Twenty-first century skills’.

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