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Issues in integrating generic skills into the curriculum

Alex Radloff
RMIT University

Barbara de la Harpe
Curtin University of Technology

It is widely recognised that university graduates need to have not only well developed content knowledge and expertise but also a range of generic skills such as communication, team work, problem solving, information literacy and self management skills. Research suggests that students are most likely to develop such skills when these are integrated into the curriculum and their development is supported by the discipline instructor. In order to provide effective support for the development of generic skills, instructors need to make changes to what and how they teach and assess, and they need help and support to do so.

Based on our experiences with developing and implementing initiatives to integrate generic skills into disciplinary content, we outline a number of dilemmas faced by instructors and institutions when faced with the need to integrate generic skills into the curriculum. These include addressing the conceptions of teaching and learning that instructors hold in order to convince them that it is part of their role to do so and that they are best placed to take on this task; providing professional development support that instructors value and use; and developing appropriate institutional policies and strategies that facilitate genuine development of generic skills.


Contact person: Alex Radloff, Associate Dean (Acacemic) and Director of Teaching Quality, Faculty of Life Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne. alex.radloff@rmit.edu.au

Presentation format: Dilemmas in teaching or teaching/learning research

Please cite as: Radloff, A. and de la Harpe, B. (2002). Issues in integrating generic skills into the curriculum. In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/radloff-abs.html

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Created 9 Dec 2001. Last revision: 2 Feb 2002. HTML: Roger Atkinson [ rjatkinson@bigpond.com ]