An applied focus combines the following components in curriculum development, consistent with the nature of each subject area:
Learning Outcomes expressed as observable, measurable, and reportable abilities or skills
Employability Skills inclusion of outcomes or strategies that promote skills that will enable students to be successful in the workplace (e.g., literacy, numeracy, critical and creative thinking, problem solving, technology, and information management)
Contextual Learning an emphasis on learning by doing; the use of abstract ideas and concepts, including theories, laws, principles, formulae, rules, or proofs in a practical context (e.g., home, workplace, community)
Interpersonal Skills inclusion of strategies that promote co-operative activities and teamwork
Career Development inclusion of appropriate connections to careers, occupations, entrepreneurship, or the workplace
An applied focus in all subjects and courses promotes the use of practical applications to demonstrate theoretical knowledge. Using real-world and workplace problems and situations as a context for the application of theory makes school more relevant to students' needs and goals. An applied focus strengthens the link between what students need to know to function effectively in the workplace or in postsecondary education and what they learn in Kindergarten through Grade 12.
Some examples of an applied focus in different subjects are:
English Language Arts increasing emphasis on language used in everyday situations and in the workplace, such as for job interviews, memo and letter writing, word processing, and technical communications (including the ability to interpret technical reports, manuals, tables, charts, and graphics)
Mathematics more emphasis on skills needed in the workplace, including knowledge of probability and statistics, logic, measurement theory, and problem solving
Science more practical applications and hands-on experience of science, such as reducing energy waste in school or at home, caring for a plant or animal in the classroom, and using computers to produce tables and graphs and for spreadsheets
Business Education more emphasis on real-world applications such as preparing résumés and personal portfolios, participating in groups to solve business communication problems, using computer software to keep records, and using technology to create and print marketing material
Visual Arts applying visual arts skills to real-world design, problem solving, and communications; exploring career applications of visual arts skills; experimenting with a variety of new technologies to create images; and a new emphasis on creating and understanding images of social significance to the community
This summary is derived from The Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education Plan (September 1994), and curriculum documents from British Columbia and other jurisdictions.
Revised: January 25, 1999
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