Publication Date



Generic skills, Monitoring (Assessment), Frameworks, Critical thinking, Creative thinking, Collaboration, Year 5, Year 8


This research was a project of the ACER Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation.

The Framework documents resulting from this research project are also available for download:


This report describes a project of the Centre for Assessment Reform and Innovation (CARI) at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to develop an approach for teaching and assessing general capabilities, also known as 21st century skills, in the classroom. The report is divided into two parts. Part one presents an overview of ACER’s approach to skills development. This approach is underpinned by the identification of three evident needs: to understand development, to monitor growth, and to ensure alignment across curriculum, assessment, and pedagogy. Part Two outlines how the approach is applied in the context of assessment. An assessment template that encompasses built-in tasks and associated scoring systems, but is flexible enough to allow teachers to adapt the learning area or problem scenario to suit the grade level, or curriculum topic of current focus was developed. Two assessment modules were developed from the assessment template to assess critical thinking, creative thinking and collaboration through problem based learning tasks. They were targeted to Grade 5 and Grade 8 students. One assessment was orientated to a humanities context (refugee resettlement module), and the other to a STEM context (sculpture design module).

Place of Publication

Camberwell, Australia


Australian Council for Educational Research