21st century skills: Realising the potential of the Australian Curriculum
The Melbourne Declaration (2008) proposed that the Australian Curriculum (and state or territory and local curriculum) develop:
- a solid foundation in knowledge, understanding, skills and values on which further learning and adult life can be built
- deep knowledge, understanding, skills and values that will enable advanced learning and an ability to create new ideas and translate them into practical applications
- general capabilities that underpin flexible and analytical thinking, a capacity to work with others and an ability to move across subject disciplines to develop new expertise.
The Australian Curriculum, approved by education ministers for implementation, includes general capabilities that comprise knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that students develop and use in their learning across the curriculum. The Australian Curriculum identifies where the general capabilities are addressed through the learning areas and where there are opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning.
This session will draw on implementation experience and various national and international reports on 21st century capabilities to take stock of the opportunities and challenges in delivering the Australian Curriculum. Particular attention will be given to the what, why and how of ensuring that all young Australians are supported to learn these fundamentally important capabilities.
About Robert Randall
Robert Randall has recently completed two terms as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), first taking up that role in November 2012.
Robert commenced working at ACARA in 2009 and also held the roles of Deputy CEO and General Manager, Curriculum. In the lead-up to the establishment of ACARA, Robert was General Manager of the Interim National Curriculum Board.
Robert began his career in Perth as a teacher of mathematics before holding a range of positions within and beyond schools in Western Australia. In 1996, Robert was appointed Director, Curriculum, with the NSW Board of Studies, and in 2001 took up the position of Director of Curriculum K–12 with the NSW Department of Education and Training.