Having done the self-awareness review and then the self-management review it was quite straight forward and easy to do the goal setting. On the top of the sheet we set the goals for my subject area and on the bottom of the sheet I encouraged them to set goals for other things since they had mentioned so many other things in their self reviews. I have spent 3 sessions of about 25 minutes of class time on this. It’s a good class and we shall be able to make up the time. Not so sure that a subject area, which is already interrupted by other activities is the place for this but the national curriculum is not giving us a choice. Perhaps we need to look at how all these capabilities are actually going to be addressed in a subject area. Having said that, my Year 8s are so much clearer about how to manage themselves and their work now so it does have good value in terms of application and improvement. It has helped them to create a better sense of self and how to achieve and to ask better questions in class.
There are 7 general capabilities and according to the ACARA site they are addressed explicitly in content and there are icons to identify them in content descriptions. The ACARA site explains their reason for being in our national curriculum in this way:
“General capabilities, a key dimension of the Australian Curriculum, are addressed explicitly in the content of the learning areas. They play a significant role in realising the goals set out in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) – that all young people in Australia should be supported to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.”
It will take time to redescribe and reformat curriculum in this way but in the end it means we have properly described and identified what we actually teach and within this framework students are also encouraged to develop learning along these lines so that it can be accounted for and assessed. In other words, students have an opportunity to participate as active learners and gain a deeper understanding of what learning actually entails. It is a demanding task to identify the components of a curriculum and as we go along we may find out we have missed something. The Australian Curriculum is comprehensive but perhaps we have overlooked something. Given we have this format of content and capabilities anything which needs to be addressed will be able to be included relatively easily I should think. We also need easy access to those logs because to put visual markers on curriculum and content documents is a good thing. It breaks up the swags of text which people no longer like to see. I’d like to think we could have an electronic way of addressing these general capabilities so we could enter things online and select the logs and then come up with a finished document. That would be an interesting challenge!