n South African Journal of Higher Education - Between deconstruction and systems thinking - some practicalities of incorporating non-technical skills into curricula using critical thinking as an example : perspectives on higher education

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The nature of the skills required of graduates entering the contemporary workplace is shifting from the technical (subject-specific) to the non-technical (generic) sphere. This article justifies the integration of non-technical skills into curricula and learning tasks, and focuses on some of the associated practicalities. By deconstructing nontechnical skills into their enabling abilities, they can be more tangibly integrated into curricula and this will facilitate learning them. A model for curriculum development is identified that can be used to deconstruct the relevant non-technical skills into their enabling abilities (supportive cognitive skills). Two approaches to deconstructing the non-technical skill of critical thinking are used to illustrate how the supportive cognitive skills can be identified. The article concludes with a discussion of how the learning of non-technical skills can be facilitated with appropriate learning task design. Certain principles of systems thinking are identified that further promote understanding of the facilitation of the learning of non-technical skills.

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