General capabilities

Food and fibre connections provide a framework for all young Australians to understand and value primary industries. Students have the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills and understandings about the production of the food they eat, the fibres they use and the environment they live in. This learning addresses the key processes of production, marketing, consumption and sustainable use of resources and waste recycling.

Depending on their choice of activities, teachers may find further opportunities to incorporate the explicit teaching and assessment of the general capabilities. Food and fibre connections provide rich opportunities to address aspects of a range of general capabilities, with a particular emphasis on Literacy, Numeracy, ICT Capability, and Critical and Creative Thinking.

The following descriptions give an overview of how general capabilities may be addressed through a food and fibre connection. In the Australian Curriculum, the general capabilities encompass knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that will help students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

There are seven general capabilities:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Intercultural Understanding.

Food and fibre connections may involve students in communicating ideas, investigating ways in which products, services and environments evolve, and analysing how the production of food and fibre can become more sustainable. Vocabulary may include technical terms for specific concepts and processes. Group work is often involved, meaning that students develop skills in listening, talking, questioning and evaluating decisions. This is an opportunity for students to research and report on developments in this field of research.

Food and fibre connections provide opportunities for students to interpret and use mathematical knowledge and skills in a range of real-world situations. Students may use calculations, estimation and measurement to collect and use data related to food and fibre production. Students use a range of tools, resources and techniques to interpret and draw conclusions when managing projects.

Food and fibre connections provide opportunities for students to strengthen key ICT capabilities by becoming familiar with and using a range of software applications when investigating and analysing information and communicating and collaborating online. For example, students can collect and present data such as rainfall and crop yields or create marketing plans for agriculture enterprises.

Food and fibre connections support students to think critically and creatively about possible, probable and preferred futures. They have opportunities to think creatively about appropriate courses of action and develop plans for personal and collective action. They may consider how information, materials, systems, tools and equipment impact on our lives and how these might be better managed to support current and future generations. They may have opportunities to develop enterprising behaviours and capabilities to imagine possibilities, consider alternatives, test hypotheses, and seek and create innovative solutions; and think creatively about the impact of issues on their own lives and the lives of others.

Food and fibre connections give students opportunities to enhance their personal and social capability by providing a collaborative workspace to engage in project management and development. Students may develop social and employability skills through working cooperatively in teams; sharing materials, resources and processes; making group decisions; resolving conflict; and showing leadership. They may consider impacts of decisions on people, communities and environments and develop social responsibility through understanding of, empathy with, and respect for, others. Working side by side with other students in the outdoors, such as a kitchen garden, provides opportunities for students to develop respect for each other and the environment and builds understanding of the role food production plays in promoting health, safety and wellbeing.

Food and fibre connections may support students to understand and apply ethical and socially responsible principles when collaborating with others and creating, sharing and using materials, processes, tools and equipment. Students may learn about safe and ethical procedures for investigating and working with people and materials and consider their rights and responsibilities when using sustainable practices. They are encouraged to develop informed values and attitudes and to appreciate and value the social systems in which they operate.

Food and fibre connections recognise and respond to cultural diversity by exploring food and fibre production practices in a range of environments in Australia and overseas, especially in Asia. Students investigate how cultural identities and traditions influence products, services and environments designed to meet the needs of daily life now and in the future.