Publication Details

This article was published as James, B, Lefoe, G & Hadi, M, Working ‘through’ graduate attributes: A bottom-up approach. In Sheehy, F. and Stauble, B. (Eds.) Transforming knowledge into Wisdom: Holistic Approaches to Teaching and Learning, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia HERDSA Conference, Miri, Sarawak, 2004, 174-184.


The implementation of graduate attributes is a contentious addition to the agenda of Australian universities as they face issues related to quality assurance and funding. In this case study, we describe a way that we as teachers can work ‘through’ rather than uncritically with the graduate attributes. We suggest that the graduate attributes potentially allow the university community to focus on the processes of pedagogy. The paper also demonstrates how the graduate attributes can be used to initiate the development of a community of practice through collaboration and sharing of teaching strategies. The project allows a bottom-up approach for interpretation of a top-down policy initiative.