The Melbourne Declaration commits "to supporting all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens", and to promoting equity and excellence in education. The Australian Curriculum will "equip all young Australians with the essential skills, knowledge and capabilities to thrive and compete in a globalised world and information rich workplaces of the current century." The Australian Curriculum will be accessible to all young Australians, regardless of their social or economic background or the school they attend.
Twenty-first century learning does not fit neatly into a curriculum solely organised by learning areas or subjects that reflect the disciplines. Increasingly, in a world where knowledge itself is constantly growing and evolving, students need to develop a set of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions, or general capabilities, that apply across the curriculum and that help them to become lifelong learners able to live and work successfully in the diverse world of the twenty-first century. The general capabilities included in the Australian Curriculum are:
· Information and communication technology
· Critical and creative thinking
· Personal and social capability
· Ethical behaviour
· Intercultural understanding.
In the Australian Curriculum, the general capabilities are addressed through the learning areas and are identified wherever they are developed or applied in content descriptions.
When we explore how we might best describe a contemporary learning environment, it usually begins by outlining a blend of the physical and virtual space.
What changes when learning and teaching take place in a technology-rich world? Specifically what changes when the medium for learning and teaching is virtual? How does it impact on the norms we take for granted in the physical space, and to what extent does it extend and grant us a more diverse range of possibilities when we are in a virtual place?
Unquestionably, a lot that happens in the virtual space often mimics our face-to-face behaviour, but one only has to consider how technologies such as SMS, Facebook and Twitter have changed how we communicate to contemplate that there might be a lot more that we don't yet understand.
In its purest sense, pedagogy does describe the art and science of teaching and learning per se, and yet as we better develop our knowledge around the learning sciences, emerging technologies and new learning mediums, we begin to unfold new and exciting learning dynamics that we should explore and explain.
The Catholic School is a sacred place where faith, culture and life are in dialogue and where learners are empowered to shape and enrich their world with meaning, purpose and hope derived from their encounter with life and the teachings of Jesus.
In this context, approaches to curriculum and pedagogy which are deeply rooted in faith, empowers students with the essential knowledge, skills and capacities and capabilities for active citizenship and lifelong learning. The Australian Curriculum provides our school with the content and in return the school focuses on how it will be implemented so that learning and teaching supports, enables and engages the learner in the contemporary world.