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Developing graduate employability within the curriculum: A metacognitive approach

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 3:00pm – 3:30pm parallel session



Room 4 – 303-G16, Sem



Professor Dawn Bennett
Curtin University, Australia



The enduring employability of 21st-century workers demands explicit and career-long employability work. Far more complex than graduate employment, higher education finds itself tasked with students’ cognitive and social development as capable and informed individuals, professionals and social citizens. At a time of funding constraints, increasing casualisation of university staff and a diverse, time-jealous student population, this is no mean task. Indeed, there is increasing acknowledgement that employability and career development initiatives have little impact unless they regularly engage the whole student population. The research reported here asked how this might be achieved.

Grounded in social-cognitive theory, the researchers sought to understand student development from the first year of study through to professional life. Participants included 15,000 undergraduate students who created personalised employability profiles using a validated measure of employability. Students’ responses were combined with national Australian datasets to foreground a longitudinal, multi-source dataset.

The session will first foreground a metacognitive view of employability: the ability to find, create and sustain meaningful work and learning across the career lifespan. The session will outline a strength-based approach to employability development and its implementation within the existing curriculum at multiple institutions, where it has been embedded without additional time, expertise or resources.

The findings highlight that a metacognitive approach to employability development can prompt students to understand why they think the way they think, how to critique and learn the unfamiliar and how their values, beliefs and assumptions can inform and be informed by their learning, lives and careers.


Presentation topic

Students – Future Graduates

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