General capabilities (Version 8.4)

General capabilities are a key dimension of the Australian Curriculum, supporting young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.

The Australian Curriculum includes seven general capabilities. These are:

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

In the Australian Curriculum, general capabilities are addressed through the learning areas and are identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning.

View the General capabilities information sheet (PDF 91 kb).

General capabilities materials for schools and teachers

General capabilities materials are published on the Australian Curriculum website as a resource to help teachers. The materials for each general capability are in three parts:

  • an introduction that describes the nature and scope of the capability
  • ·organising elements that underpin a learning continuum
  • a learning continuum for each capability

For further information on the general capabilities and to access learning continua, visit the  ’General capabilities’ pages of the Australian Curriculum website.

Development of the general capabilities

In 2010 the general capabilities materials were developed to inform the writing of learning area curriculum content. Development processes included consultation with, and advice from, the advisory group, academics, teachers and curriculum experts, as well as state and territory education authorities.     

The materials build on significant state and territory initiatives and practice, and are informed by national and international research.

View the composition of the General Capabilities Advisory Group (PDF 60 kb).

In 2011 the general capabilities materials were revised following national consultation. 

View the General Capabilities consultation report (PDF 1.2 mb).