The paper “ Cross Curriculum Themes and General Capabilities in Pedagogical Practice” is a comprehensive variant of an essay on education. The Australian Curriculum has been changed to deliver a relevant, contemporary while at the same time engaging curriculum that addresses the needs of students. It is now based on an Inquiry-based model. The students are now encouraged to form their own questions about a topic and given time to explore the answers. Therefore, students are posers and solvers of problems. The inquiry-based model is meant to focus on effective questions and higher-order thinking.
Good questioning stimulates learning, extends thinking, and creates links between prior knowledge and new learning (P. 276). The Melbourne Declaration and the new K-10 English Syllabus stipulates educational goals based on three key areas of priority. These priorities include the Aboriginal and Torres Strait histories and culture priority, Asia and Australia’ s engagement with Asia (AAEA) priority, and sustainability priority. Seven general capabilities are also included in the curriculum. These general capabilities include literacy, critical and creative thinking, information and communication technology capability, personal and social capability, numeracy, intercultural understanding, and ethical understanding (Board of Studies NSW, 2012).
A more detailed focus will be done on AAEA and the general capability of critical and creative thinking and their integration in the new syllabus as well as how they are related to pedagogical practices in English classes (Egbert, 2009, p. 98). AAEA priority gives the students an opportunity to celebrate links that connect Asia with Australia. These links include cultural, social, political, and economic links. The students learn about contemporary events which have resulted in shared experiences in response to a number of environmental issues.
Such events include changes that have occurred in a local environment as a result of human activity, how natural events cause rapid change to the Earth’ s surface, and how the design of built environments is influenced by a variety of social and environmental factors (P. 265). The syllabus provides opportunities for students to understand the importance of the relationship of Australia with Asia. The learning and development of students in NSW can be greatly attributed to knowledge, understanding, attributes, skills, and values that are acquired in English. In line with the English syllabus, the AAEA theme, and the general capability of critical and creative thinking can be introduced into the English classroom in various ways. One of the ways involves the use of ICT in an English classroom.
The use of ICT relates to technological pedagogy. In an English classroom, students can use ICT to create models to better understand concepts and problems. As an example, in the study the culture of Asia, I would introduce a film based on Asian culture for the students to watch. The students will be required to go online in order to access this film.
The students will then be required to do close text analysis on the cultural aspects depicted in the film. They will then be required to relate these aspects to the cultural practices of Australia. Similarities and differences in their culture and that depicted in the film will be analyzed. They will, therefore, be required to reflect on their culture and look at Asian culture. The students will then be able to employ critical thinking while doing the analysis (Jetnikoff & Kelly, 2013).
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