General capabilities

In the Australian Curriculum, the general capabilities encompass knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that will assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

There are seven general capabilities:

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

Food and wellbeing connections focus on nutrition, food and the wellbeing of individuals and families in their everyday living (Home economics 7–10). Students have the opportunity to learn how to become independent, how to connect with others and how to support individual and family wellbeing. They have opportunities to produce food for healthy living and, in 7–10, to create designed solutions using textiles.

Depending on their choice of activities, teachers may find further opportunities to incorporate explicit teaching and assessment of general capabilities. Food and fibre connections provide rich opportunities to address aspects of a range of general capabilities but in particular Personal and Social Capability.

The following descriptions give an overview of how general capabilities may be addressed through a food and wellbeing connection.

Food and wellbeing connections may support the development of literacy by providing opportunities to communicate ideas and concepts; read and interpret food labels, instructions and design briefs; prepare, follow and modify recipes and patterns; and develop project outlines, briefs, management proposals and evaluations. Vocabulary includes technical terms for specific concepts and processes and because group work is often involved, listening, talking, questioning and evaluating decisions becomes an important part of learning to use language flexibly and non-judgementally.

Food and wellbeing connections give students opportunities to interpret and use mathematical knowledge and skills in a range of real-life situations. Students use calculations, estimation and measurement to collect and use data related to foods, textiles, health and wellbeing. Students use a range of tools, materials and techniques to interpret and draw conclusions when making products and managing projects. They calculate and interpret nutritional requirements and dietary needs.

Food and wellbeing connections give students opportunities 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 may analyse dietary intake using nutrition databases or other online tools when shopping, planning meals and modifying recipes.

Food and wellbeing connections may provide opportunities for students to think critically and creatively in response to a range of issues. Designing and working with tools, materials, techniques and equipment helps students build their visual and spatial thinking to create products and services to support individuals and families. Students consider possible and preferred futures and critically evaluate ideas. They can use their knowledge of the connection between food and wellbeing to plan for and create food solutions that meet a range of physical, social, emotional, mental and spiritual health needs.

Food and wellbeing connections enhance students’ personal and social capability by providing opportunities for collaboration when they manage projects. Students develop social, life and employability skills through working cooperatively in teams; sharing materials, resources and processes; making group decisions; resolving conflict; and showing leadership. They develop an understanding of their own strengths when working individually and in groups. Students consider the impacts of decisions on people, communities and environments. They take account of diversity and develop social responsibility and wellbeing through empathy with and respect for others.

Food and wellbeing connections support students to develop capacity to understand and apply ethical and socially responsible principles when collaborating with others and creating, sharing and using materials, processes, tools and equipment. Students 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 learn to appreciate and value the social systems in which they operate. They are able to explore the sociocultural influences on attitudes and strategies for planning and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

Food and wellbeing connections provide opportunities for students to recognise and respond to cultural diversity by exploring practices which enable people to interact with one another across cultural boundaries. Students investigate how cultural identities and traditions influence products and services designed to meet the needs of daily life now and in the future. Both food and textile contexts provide opportunities for students to investigate cultural practices and different approaches to meeting needs.