'Personal literacy': the vital, yet often overlooked, graduate attribute.

Chris Rust, Lorna Froud


"There is no difference between academic skills and employment skills,"(Jackson, 2011, p1). This paper argues that there is often a false dichotomy in the minds of academics between employability, and the so-called 'skills agenda', and the teaching of academic disciplines. And even in professional courses, the view of employability can be very blinkered, limited to getting a job and working in the specific profession e.g. law, nursing, architecture. It is our argument that an explicit focus on the graduate attribute 'personal literacy' - literally the ability to 'read oneself', to be critically self-aware- can unite the academic and employability agendas and reveal them as one, joint enterprise. We also argue that both the development of employability and the learning of academic disciplines can be significantly improved through the development of students' critical self-awareness and personal literacy. Having made this case, we then go on to consider examples of how this might be achieved in practice.


Personal literacy; self-awareness; employability; graduate attributes

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2011vol2no1art551


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