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Personal Learning - Relationships with other domains

Introduction | The Arts | Civics and Citizenship | Communication | Design, Creativity and Technology | English | Health and Physical Education | The Humanities – Economics | The Humanities – Geography | The Humanities – History | Information and Communications Technology | Interpersonal Development | Language Other Than English (LOTE) | Mathematics | Science | Thinking Processes | Show All


The advice for this section focuses on the relationships between the domains to provide students with multi domain learning opportunities that will help support their deeper understanding of the essential knowledge and skills.

The Arts

Arts Education draws on pedagogical approaches that build confidence, knowledge of the self and the sense of self identity of the individual learner through practice in and responding to particular art forms. The knowledge, skills and behaviours of Personal Learning are integral components of The Arts in developing effective learners. Engagement with art works can help students to develop understanding of the perspectives of others, leading to empathy and openness towards others. Students learn to explore and manage their emotions through creating and making, exploring and responding in the Arts. This engagement with the Arts facilitates the expansion and effective formulation of ways an individual can reflect on the world as they see it and provides unique opportunities for students to see the world from another’s point of view.

Developing skills and producing works in all art forms requires goal-setting, working towards objectives and prioritising tasks and/or stages of production within a framework. Arts practice assists students to understand the role of planning, persistence, creativity and innovation in designing, producing and completing tasks. Students engage in independent learning strategies and organisational skills to manage their personal learning through the rigour, practise and commitment required in study of the Arts. Feedback from peers, teachers and others provides students with the opportunity to build resilience and to examine the effectiveness of their communication through the Arts.

Civics and Citizenship

The skills, knowledge and behaviours developed in Personal Learning underpin successful student learning in Civics and Citizenship, both in the context of school and throughout their lives. Personal Learning supports the development and awareness of positive learning approaches and relationships with others from a diverse range of cultural and societal beliefs, values and practices. In developing these relationships, students learn about the nature of a diverse society. Civics and Citizenship encompasses learning and research in contemporary and historical contexts that are relevant to students’ interests and developmental needs. Effective research requires the skills of developing questions to focus their learning, planning, monitoring, revising and reflecting. It also requires that students cooperate with their peers, develop responsibility for their learning and participation, and the quality of their achievements.


Communication is centrally involved in Personal Learning and is concerned with the development of skills and behaviours to learn effectively. To become effective communicators students need to understand and become proficient users of language through the process of planning, reflecting and acting on their own learning. Students progressively take responsibility for their learning and develop competencies in the domains through an understanding of the specialised language or literacies. Through communication students are able to explore and use both verbal and non-verbal responses to support their preferred learning style. Through the exploration students learn to respect the rights of others to express opinions. When presenting, students develop time management and organisational skills to meet schedules and deadlines. They ensure they have the materials required to enhance their communications. Students modify their communication by being aware of their audience. They seek and give relevant and constructive feedback from teachers, peers and significant others.

Students enhance their communication skills by justifying the choices they make about their own learning, identifying areas for improvement in their learning and describing their progress towards achieving short and long term learning goals.

Design, Creativity and Technology

In Design, Creativity and Technology students set goals and manage time and resources. They plan and implement time management and task completion strategies particularly when working on design and production tasks. At Level 6 there are links between the two domains through the use of complex processes and strategies to address the task or design brief. Students develop evaluation criteria and reflect on and describe their learning and the strategies applied, considering modifications and alternatives to the processes undertaken and products made. Students are able to work independently and cooperatively with their peers, learning from and considering feedback provided by peers and teachers and other adults.


In English, students explore personal choices and goals and explore ethical situations and dilemmas through working with narrative, everyday and media texts, and through the process of creating their own texts. For example, students learn to manage impulsive behaviour by considering alternative courses of action in response to ideas or problems and to consider possible consequences.  In English, students learn to appreciate, enjoy and use language and develop a sense of its richness and power to evoke feelings, to form and convey ideas, to inform, to discuss, to persuade, to entertain and to argue.

The English domain assists students in developing an understanding of the language conventions appropriate in different spoken texts, including everyday communication, group discussion, formal presentations and speeches, storytelling and negotiation. This knowledge is vital to the personal and social dimensions of learning, including the development of skills and behaviours for learning effectively with peers. It supports students in understanding new material, developing strategies to manage their learning, and social and personal relationships. Activities such as debating, listening, considering, expressing points of view and writing reflections, support students in being mindful of themselves as learners and thinkers. 

In English, processes such as drafting enhance personal learning by encouraging students to take responsibility for their own development as they become competent writers, speakers and listeners. Constructive and detailed feedback given by teachers and peers assists students to reflect on their learning in systematic ways.

Health and Physical Education

Personal Learning provides students with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to be successful learners both at school and throughout their lives. When planning classes, Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers acknowledge that students can learn through persistence. A comprehensive HPE curriculum requires students to develop personal learning strategies and regular opportunities to learn with and from peers and other adults. Subject content includes developing goal setting skills, understandings and exhibiting resilience as well as developing dispositions that support learning.

HPE provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills of Personal Learning through:

The Humanities – Economics

In studying Economics, students develop an understanding about the importance of weighing up the costs and benefits when deciding how resources should be allocated and used. In developing these understandings, teachers of Economics relate this to students’ personal goal setting, and management of their time and resources. In the Economics domain, students develop skills and strategies for transition to employment and further education and training, including job seeking, job application and interview skills. In order to develop these understandings and skills, students need to acquire self-knowledge about their strengths and interests and develop skills of goal setting, time and resource management. Students learn to use and practise rational, objective decision making by applying Personal Learning skills.

The Humanities – Geography

Geography provides numerous opportunities for students to develop as individual learners. For example, when investigating local, global and national patterns of development and development issues, students can be made aware of how their personal values may impact upon their analysis and evaluation and that their personal values may differ from other class members’. Geography can also support development in managing personal learning. For example, an inquiry based approach is fundamental to Geography and this kind of approach provides opportunities for goal setting and time and resource management. Fieldwork also sits within this approach and provides a context outside the classroom for development and application of personal learning skills, including working independently. In developing activities with an inquiry based approach there is scope for students to reflect on how their learning preferences may impact upon or shape the inquiry. In Geography students may investigate and discuss contestable issues and be exposed to views that oppose their own, providing opportunity to develop strategies for the management of emotions. 

The Humanities – History

The skills, knowledge and behaviours developed in Personal Learning underpin successful student learning history. Personal Learning supports the development and awareness of positive learning approaches and developing strategies for increasing independence in learning. It also supports the development of relationships with others from a diverse range of cultural and societal beliefs, values and practices. In developing these relationships, students learn about the nature of a diverse Australian society. History encompasses learning and research in historical contexts that are relevant to students’ developmental needs. Effective research requires the skills of developing questions to focus their learning, planning, monitoring, revising and reflecting. It also requires that students cooperate with their peers as well as develop responsibility for their learning and the quality of their achievements.

Information and Communications Technology

In Information and Communications Technology (ICT), students learn with and from their peers, and various adults, both in the classroom and remotely through online access to experts and others with knowledge to share. Students solve problems both independently and cooperatively to create information products in a positive learning environment. Students learn to be respectful of others and their products through the implementation of classroom expectations and protocols for ICT use. They use visual thinking tools to plan, monitor and revise their thinking strategies and reflect upon their learning strategies in systematic ways. They efficiently manage their personal learning by applying ICT tools to goal setting, time and resource planning, and monitoring, evaluating, and, if necessary, adjusting their plans.

Interpersonal Development

Concentration, self awareness and motivation are emotional skills that are a pre-requisite to personal learning and the establishment of individual learning goals. The development of resilient behaviours and attitudes when attempting and reflecting on tasks improves the quality of personal learning. Interpersonal skills are also required to meaningfully participate in peer learning, peer assessment, group reflection and ultimately to making an effective team.

Language Other Than English (LOTE)

In Languages other than English students apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours of Personal Learning to become effective autonomous learners. Students are required to self evaluate and reflect on their learning in order to become proficient users of the language. In this process resiliency is developed. Receiving feedback from teachers, peers and others (including those from the country whose language they are studying) is vital for them developing understandings of the culture and competency of the language. Teaching and learning strategies allow students to use their preferred ways of learning. Students are encouraged to respect individual differences especially as they will be at different stages of learning and competency.


The mathematical processes of inquiry, investigation, problem solving, modelling and the use of technology give rise to opportunities and challenges for personal learning. These mathematical processes provide contexts within which students can acquire self knowledge and dispositions that support learning. Opportunities also occur for students to learn with their peers including seeking and responding appropriately to feedback. Establishing values in which individual differences are respected and appreciated encourages unique and varied approaches to working mathematically. As students see mathematical connections and are able to apply mathematical concepts, skills and processes in posing and solving problems, they become confident in their personal knowledge of mathematics. They increasingly manage their own learning and growth through the setting of goals and managing resources. The strategies of planning, monitoring, revising, reflecting and if needs be modifying enable students to develop resilience and become adaptive learners.  Students will become progressively empowered through knowledge of mathematics and as numerate citizens they will be able to apply this knowledge critically, in societal and political contexts. 


In Science, a broad range of set tasks, discussions, evaluation and assessment techniques (both formative and summative) enable students to develop and refine the strategies identified in the domain of Personal Learning. Independent research and experimental investigations enable students to make individual decisions about how they will undertake learning tasks and reflect on their responses to tasks. Collaborative experimental investigations provide opportunities for students to listen to different points of view, learn from their peers, obtain and act on feedback, decide on strategies needed to complete tasks, try out new ways of doing things and contribute to group and class discussion. Extended tasks give students the opportunity to become autonomous learners; to set goals for their learning, establish task timeframes and develop the organisational and self-management skills needed to complete tasks. Becoming an autonomous learner is an important life-long skill for all students. As they progress through school, they are helped to take greater responsibility for their own learning and to recognise and enact appropriate values within and beyond the classroom. Students develop resilience through working with a positive attitude in exploring emerging options.

Thinking Processes

One of the fundamental thinking processes successful learners must develop is to reflect on learning, to link new knowledge to existing knowledge, to establish what is true and accurate, important and useful, and to challenge what is untrue and inaccurate.

In this sense, meta-cognition is central to both the Personal Learning and Thinking Processes domains. Creating, applying and evaluating processes that act as a commentary on learning are central to cognitive development.

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