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5.2.1 Curriculum Area Elements

In each curriculum area the four elements of learning should be made explicit.

1.KNOWLEDGE

While it may be true that education is what is left when the facts have been forgotten, the acquisition of knowledge is at the heart of our curriculum. It creates a context in which to develop skills and conceptual understanding, it provides evidence on which to develop values and attitudes and, most fundamentally, it fulfils our basic human desire to know more about our world and ourselves.

2. SKILLS

In addition to specific subject-related skills, each subject should be able to contribute to the following cross-curricular skills:

Communicative Skills – the ability to:

  • listen purposefully
  • read for meaning and enjoyment
  • discuss and debate
  • Present ideas orally, in writing, numerically graphically, artistically, and dramatically.

Cognitive Skills – the ability to:

  • observe accurately
  • interpret information
  • analyze, synthesize, classify, empathize hypothesize
  • apply previous learning to new situations

Practical Skills- the ability to:

  • make appropriate use of a wide range of equipment,from hand tools to computers
  • undertake physical activity and sports for recreation and fitness

Social Skills – the ability to:

  • work independently and co-operatively
  • respect others and accept responsibility
  • understand and respect rules and conventions
  • resolve conflicts
  • contribute to the well-being of the community and environment
  • engage positively in leisure activities

Study Skills – the ability to:

  • extract relevant information from a range of sources
  • record information clearly and concisely
  • present work appropriately
  • read effectively
  • use time effectively

3. CONCEPT

Each subject should identify key concepts which students need to understand at different stages of their development. Conceptual understanding enables students to organize, classify and comprehend the information to which they are exposed.

4. Values and Attitudes

a. Positive values and attitudes to self, to others and to our environment are of fundamental importance and should be promoted across the curriculum.

Examples are:

  • Self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance.
  • Love of learning, an enquiring mind, independence of thought, perseverance, pride in achievement, initiative and a readiness to tackle problems and challenges.
  • Valuing all individuals regardless of gender, race, ability, material status or other differences.
  • Respect for the opinions of others, tolerance, courtesy, compassion and good humor.
  • Appreciation of the achievements and endeavors of others.
  • Respect for all cultures, races and backgrounds.
  • Valuing family and friends.
  • A sense of responsibility for the community and local. environment.

Values and attitudes such as these should be made explicit and promoted whenever possible, bearing in mind that the example of teachers in this area is of crucial importance; attitudes are caught rather than taught.

b.

Students should also be provided with the opportunity to explore and clarify their values with respect to a range of issues such as:

  • Environmentalism
  • Justice and fairness
  • Political, social and economic issues
  • Quality of life

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