ACARA General Capabilities – harder than an MBA?

January 3, 2019 10 MIN READ Eddie Blass

I’ve spent that quiet time between Xmas and New Year mapping the Inventorium to the ACARA general capability standards, and am wondering how they are being implemented and developed in practice because I’m finding some of them require outcomes that surpass what I teach my university classes! 

For example, in the critical and creative thinking strand, a level 4 (or at the end of year 6) example is

  •  ‘analyse, condense and combine relevant information from multiple sources’, or
  • ‘pose questions to clarify and interpret information and probe for causes and consequences’, or
  • ‘assess and test options to identify the most effective solution and to put ideas into action’. 
  • At year 10 (level 5), these translate to
  • ‘critically analyse independently sourced information to determine bias and reliability’, and
  • ‘pose questions to critically analyse complex issues and abstract ideas’ and
  • ‘assess risks and explain contingencies, taking account of a range of perspectives, when seeking solutions and putting complex ideas into action’.

The Inventorium is an inquiry based learning approach curriculum that engages the students in projects that do offer the opportunity for students to be able to demonstrate these general capabilities, but we generally use it as a SACE equivalent, and even then, these standards will require pretty complex projects to be undertaken in order to meet them all. 

I’d love to hear from educators how they are working with these general capability standards at the moment as they seem at odds with a content based curriculum and very difficult to achieve within a standard school curriculum. Thank you in advance for sharing.