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Interpersonal Development

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Introduction to Interpersonal Development

Learning in the Interpersonal Development domain supports students to initiate, maintain and manage positive social relationships with a range of people in a range of contexts. It is through the development of positive social relationships that individuals become linked to society, develop a sense of belonging and learn to live and work with others. In a pluralistic, multicultural society such as Australia, with varying interests, values and beliefs, it is essential that individuals learn to participate in groups whose members are from diverse backgrounds. In this domain there is a particular focus on developing students’ capacity to work cooperatively as part of a team as this is widely acknowledged as being a core requirement for success in the workplace and in the community.

Building effective social relationships and relating well to others requires individuals to be empathetic, and to be able to deal effectively with their own emotions and inner moods. It also requires them to be aware of the social conventions and responsibilities that underpin the formation of effective relationships. All social relationships have the potential to create conflict. Students need to develop the skills and strategies to manage and resolve conflict in a sensible, fair and effective manner and not see it as something to avoid or eliminate.

Working cooperatively as part of a team requires the skills outlined above. In addition, it requires individuals to be able to balance commitment to the group and its norms with their own needs. This requires competence in presenting their own ideas and listening to those of others, approaching topics from different viewpoints, and understanding their specific role and responsibilities in relation to those of others and the overall team goal.

Relationships with peers and adults at the school provide students with opportunities for reflection and growth. Adults at the school can reinforce this learning by providing positive role models. Interactions should be positive, fair, respectful and friendly and be supported by a classroom culture which is open, honest and accepting.

The Interpersonal Development domain provides students with learning opportunities and experiences that will support their learning across the curriculum, particularly in relation to working in teams where collaboration and cooperation, sharing resources and completing agreed tasks on time are highlighted. Learning related to building social relationships encourages students to maintain positive learning environments across their learning programs.

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