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Victorian Curriculum -

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Consolidated Glossary

Advice on using the Victorian Curriculum F–10 Consolidated Glossary

Each learning area and capability provides a glossary compiled from subject-specific terminology found within the content descriptions. The glossaries may not contain all required academic vocabulary for every topic across all learning areas and capabilities. In addition to the glossaries supplied on the Victorian Curriculum F–10 website, teachers are encouraged to consult the glossaries within student textbooks and other learning resources. All these sources should inform the academic vocabulary teacher's select to provide direct instruction on and to ensure that terminology reflected in pedagogical support material is explained.

Some words apply across learning areas and capabilities and teachers need to be mindful of how specific vocabulary is used within each learning context.

In most cases, words and terminology within the glossaries have a similar meaning, for example Secondary source is used in Science, History and Geography a similar meaning is common to each of these contexts.

Some related words and terminology are used across multiple curriculum areas. While the core meaning is similar, specific terms within each learning area may require explicit teaching to ensure students don't confuse meaning across their classes. Data, for example, is used in Science, Mathematics and Digital Technologies. Data and information is used in Geography, Data displays is used in Mathematics, and Data states and Database are used in Digital Technologies.

For some words and terminology, the definitions provided within the glossaries differ in detail. Two examples are provided below to demonstrate how the meaning of the terms changes depending on the learning context.

Example one: Design thinking

Design thinking is included in glossaries for The Arts, Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies. Each learning area has its own nuanced meaning:

  • The Arts: 'Critical, creative and reflective thinking which form part of the design process in Visual Communication Design.'
  • Design and Technology: 'Use of strategies for understanding design problems and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success and planning.'
  • Digital Technologies: 'Purposeful use of strategies for understanding design problems and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success and planning. Designing stems from the notion that current products, processes, systems or services are either unsuitable for our needs or can be improved.'

Example two: Culture

Culture is included in glossaries for Geography, Languages and Intercultural capability. Each glossary has its own nuanced meaning:

  • Geography:  The customs, habits, beliefs, social organisation and ways of life that characterise different groups and communities.
  • Languages: In earlier models of language teaching and learning, culture was represented as a combination of literary and historical resources, and visible, functional aspects of a community group's way of life such as food, celebrations and folklore. While these elements of culture are parts of cultural experience and organisation, current orientations to language teaching and learning employ a less static model of culture. Culture is understood as a framework in which things come to be seen as having meaning. It involves the lens through which:
    • people see, think, interpret the world and experience
    • make assumptions about self and others
    • understand and represent individual and community identity.
  • Culture involves understandings about 'norms' and expectations, which shape perspectives and attitudes. It can be defined as social practices, patterns of behaviour, and organisational processes and perspectives associated with the values, beliefs and understandings shared by members of a community or cultural group. Language, culture and identity are understood to be closely interrelated and involved in the shaping and expression of each other. The intercultural orientation to language teaching and learning is informed by this understanding.
  • Intercultural capability: A set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or social group, encompassing all the ways of being in that society or social group; including art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs.  Each culture is a sum of assumptions and practices shared by members of a group distinguishing them from other groups.

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 Consolidated Glossary

Teachers can download a Consolidated Glossary:

Please note that teachers of the senior secondary certificates (VCE, VET and VCAL) should consult relevant information such as study designs and guidance.

The Victorian Curriculum F–10 glossaries are available to download and to print from Victoria Curriculum F–10 or from the following links: