personal and social capability

Personal and Social Capability ACARA


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Nurturing self-awareness

The Compass Advantage

Metacognition: Nurturing self- awareness in the classroom is  a very thorough and well formulated article about how to help students reflect on their learning so that they gain insight and self-awareness. It introduces you to the concept of the Compass Advantage which is a very handy way of looking at how you deliver content and then get some good outcomes for the students. Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell argues a strong case for metacognition to aid self-awareness and learning:

Metacognition plays an important role in all learning and life experiences. Beyond academic learning, when students gain awareness of their own mental states, they begin to answer important questions:

  • How do I live a happy life?
  • How do I become a respected human being?
  • How do I feel good about myself?

The article offers a number of strategies for building self-awareness in students and so is well worth reading and considering.


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Emotional Abuse

emotional abuse

What constitutes emotional abuse?

When managing your own and the behaviour of others it can be very hard to pinpoint what constitutes emotional abuse. Trying to have rational, logical discussions can be difficult because people are not really clear about emotional abuse. When we look at self management , students need to be able to:

express emotions appropriately
develop self-discipline and set goals
work independently and show initiative
become confident, resilient and adaptable

For social management they have to be able to:

communicate effectively
work collaboratively
make decisions
negotiate and resolve conflict
develop leadership skills

The personal and social capabilities are about emotional intelligence and so students need to have a clear idea of what constitutes emotional abuse. Reach Out has explained it all very clearly so there can be sensible and reasonable discussions about such behaviours and then strategies for managing them.


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You can do this

This video is getting towards the 2 million  in 4 years views on You Tube so it holds meaning for people. The Personal and Social Capability is about enabling or blocking yourself and enabling or blocking others. Could you do any of the things shown in this video? Would you want to? Would you want to encourage others to do any of the things in this video? Would you want to be the one who stops them? I don’t want to jump into the Grand Canyon or anything like it. I would not encourage anyone else to do it. This video has made me think about where my boundaries are and where they are for me as a teacher. There is no doubt when you watch the video that these people are truly amazing in what they can do and what they have achieved. It really is about how high we can fly as human beings. I was thinking about the risk assessment for some of the things. What would it be and how would you put it in place? This is why we need the Personal and Social Capability. We do need to enable ourselves and others. We shouldn’t block ourselves and certainly not others…but where would you put the boundaries?


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Focus on solutions

This video is made from a sales team point of view. Obviously schools are not about that but the concept of focussing  on solutions rather than problems is a good way to create team work, collaboration and participation in leadership activities . These are all indicators of the Social Management element of the Personal and Social Capability. The video gives you a clear idea of how you could approach students differently to get better outcomes with these indicators. It is about helping them create a new approach and perspective for themselves. More importantly the video highlights how you need to take the student from how they see themselves through a journey to help them reshape their social management skills.


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Share the love

Corny as it may sound, it was a major concept breakthrough for us as a group to work out our purpose and what we reacted to so wholeheartedly was the notion we could “share the love”. We decided our job would be to be the unblockers, the enablers and the ones who would be able to trigger thinking about personal and social capabilities. We did not think it was our job to tell people how to do it because teachers are professionals with a lot of experience and different ways of approaching their classes and students. We warmed to the notion that we could be facilitators of this and spent quite a long, animated, productive time thinking of all the ways we could spark insight into personal and social capability and whom we could target and how. We isolated our target groups, the resources which would be appropriate and the scaffolding we needed to enable ourselves and our group. We have reached the end of our school year being able to tick all the boxes on the personal and social capabilities ourselves! Great feeling. In fact, if I have time I may well get those capabilities out and chart what we have done to match them.


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Kid President

Kid President was such a good pep talk for us as teachers today and the bit I liked the best was when he said teachers should be teaching and students should be studenting. We started our meeting with the pep talk and it lightened us all up and we were ready to work and share ideas. That ought to teach us something about how to engage learners in a positive way. It is about being positive and cutting through the blocks and barriers to learning. It is about attitude. From that point onwards we shared ideas, showed each other other videos and our ideas for the personal and social capability and it meant we could see our way through to having more positive action with regard to this capability.


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The awful truth?

Jiddu Krishnamurti Image: Pinterest

Quotes from Jiddu Krishnamurti are all over the internet since he is relatively popular with 20 somethings and has an influence on those studying philosophy, education, mental health and psychology. He was friends with Aldous Huxley so his role has been to give food for thought for what we call social awareness in the new Australian curriculum. Sometimes it is worth knowing the sorts of influences on our students so we can engage with them and then draw out their thinking and ideas.