Teaching sustainability and acara capabilities
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Teaching Sustainability and ACARA capabilities. ACARA Cross- curricular priorities. Cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in all learning areas. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning areas.

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Teaching Sustainability and ACARA capabilities

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Teaching Sustainability and ACARA capabilities

ACARACross- curricular priorities

Cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in all learning areas. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning areas.


The Cross-curriculum priorities

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture


Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia


Sustainability- ACARA definition

  • ongoing capacity of earth to maintain all life

  • sustainable patterns of living meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs

  • actions to improve sustainability are both individual and collective endeavours shared across local and global communities

  • they (actions) necessitate a renewed and balanced approach to the way humans interact with each other and the environment.


Education for sustainability

  • develops the knowledge, skills, values and world views necessary for people to act in ways that contribute to more sustainable patterns of living

  • enables individuals and communities to reflect on ways of interpreting and engaging with the world. 

  • is futures-oriented, focusing on protecting environments and creating a more ecologically and socially just world through informed action.

  • considers environmental, social, cultural and economic systems and their interdependence when taking action to support more sustainable patterns of living

Organising ideas

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organising ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

Organising Ideashttp://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/CrossCurriculumPriorities/Sustainability


  • All life forms, including human life, are connected through ecosystems on which they depend for their wellbeing and survival.

World views

  • World views that recognise the dependence of living things on healthy ecosystems, and value diversity and social justice are essential for achieving sustainability.


The sustainability of ecological, social and economic systems is achieved through informed individual and community action that values local and global equity and fairness across generations into the future. 

The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities:


Ethical behaviour

The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognises that ethical behaviour assists students to become ‘confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens’. It does this through fostering the development of ‘personal values and attributes such as honesty, resilience, empathy and respect for others’, and the capacity to act with ethical integrity (MCEETYA, pp. 8

Ethical behaviour

  • Understanding ethical concepts and issues

  • Reflecting on personal ethics in experiences and decision making

  • Exploring values, rights and ethical principles

By the end of Year 10 students:

  • distinguish between ethical and unethical dimensions of situations in complex settings found in literary, scientific and historical contexts (for example considering ethical or unethical behaviours of companies, governments and local farmers when patenting produce)

  • analyse the objectivity or subjectivity of ethical principles, particularly where there is more than one issue under consideration (for example exploring the complexities associated with issues such as land or water management)

  • explain the role of values and ethical principles in national and international forums and debates (for example debates around medical research in the context of socioeconomic disparity between developed and developing countries)

End poverty. Promote justice. Uphold dignity.

Caritas Online Resources

  • www.caritas.org.au/act/secondary-school-teaching-resources

The Greenhouse Effect - Secondary

12 Jan 2012

The Greenhouse Effect explained, with simple illustrations and quotations for discussion.

Making a Tippy Tap

12 Jan 2012

Simple instructions for making a Tippy-tap, used in Uganda and other countries to wash hands.

Now we have food for the whole year because we grow vegetables and earn money from food processing - our health has improved. We can send all four of our children to school.- Flabiana, Timor Leste

Coletta’s story -Zimbabwe

“I couldn’t afford food. I didn’t have money to buy seeds.”

Samples from Caritas activities on “Colletta’s story.” (HSIE/SOSE, RE, PDHPE)Look at the Photo gallery: Zimbabwe PowerPoint on the DVD/website. Explain Colletta’s words: “The fact that we are owners of the projects ensures they’ll continue long after Caritas is gone.”

Colletta says that water availability means more time for work and fewer squabbles.

Some analysts say that the wars of the next few decades could be fought over access to water.

Watch http://bbc.in/n9vZzl, a BBC video (3:37) about water shortages around the world.

Why do water shortages cause conflict ?

Does conflict increase poverty and does peace enable development?How?

Ethical considerations for Australians

  • Should we conserve water in Australia, despite floods in the last two years? Why/why not?

Coletta’s story -Zimbabwe

Before:“Icouldn’t afford food. I didn’t have money to buy seeds.”

Colletta's mother proudly herds their goats

Other ways Caritas can assist

  • Guest speakers

  • Just Leadership Days for students

  • Assistance with linking Caritas materials to learning area programs

  • identification of links between Caritas materials and cross-curricular priorities and general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum

End poverty. Promote justice. Uphold dignity.

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