Politics of Curriculum Transformation
This survey of 546 colleges and universities across the country found that 63 percent of respondents report that they either have in place a diversity requirement or they are in the process of developing one. The survey was administered by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and supported by the James Irvine Foundation. Watch for upcoming case studies of individual diversity requirement models.
This rich study reports on emerging models for multiculturalism in core curricula and provides a practical roadmap for academic leaders working to design and pass new general education programs. It includes sample syllabi, core proposals, curriculum profiles, and a step-by-step guide through the potholes of curriculum change and faculty development. With lessons drawn from the project, Engaging Cultural Legacies: Shaping Core Curricula in the Humanities, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, this excerpt includes advice for designing a faculty development project and tips on implementing new core programs.
This compilation of theoretical essays and detailed examples of workshop and course syllabi focuses primarily on the curricular transformation models that emerged from a Ford Foundation-funded project, the Mainstreaming Minority Women's Studies Program. The book opens with a discussion of the process of faculty development and administrative support essential to curricular change. Essays present models and outcomes of the Ford project, including useful information on the politics of curriculum transformation. The piece by Paula Ries, "Understanding Outcomes of Curriculum Transformation," especially addresses such issues underlying curriculum transformation as the problems involved in the classification of course revisions, the factors that facilitate or inhibit these revisions, and the issues that emerge in the process of curriculum transformation.
In existence for over 15 years, the New Jersey Project: Integrating the Scholarship on Gender is a state-funded, statewide initiative that organizes curriculum workshops across New Jersey. This book provides a selection of essays and syllabi from the New Jersey Project useful to faculty, administrators, and students. Part One, which explains the process of institutionalizing curriculum reform and of sustaining efforts "to incorporate the theory, methodology, and content generated by the new scholarship on gender, race, class, and sexuality" (24), contains six chapters that address the politics of curriculum transformation. Chapters 2,3,4, and 6 describe techniques for overcoming faculty and institutional resistance to change. This publication can be ordered at: http://www.wilpaterson.edu/wpcpages/icip/njp/teach.htm.
Advising Curriculum Transformation Committees to pay attention from the outset to the strategies as well as the substance of General Education Reform, this essay uses the experiences of twelve diverse colleges and universities to identify 43 common strategies for curricular change. Analyzing the processes and results of the three-year Project on General Education Models (GEM) sponsored by the Society for Values in Higher Education, author Jerry Gaff arranges a comprehensive list of common pitfalls and suggested alternative strategies for General Education Reform under the following categories: Misconceptions About the Task; Erroneous Task Force Procedures; Mistaken Concepts of General Education; Faulty Methods for Securing Approval of Proposals; and Illusions About Program Implementation.
Peter Gold, Assistant Dean of the Undergraduate College, State University of New York-Buffalo From a recent issue of Diversity Digest focusing on curriculum transformation, this article provides practical advice on managing the process of building support for new diversity requirements. It provides details about productive use of assessment data and the management of campus debate.
Sponsored by American Commitments: Diversity, Democracy, and Liberal Learning, this monograph examines national trends in curricular transformation across the United States. The study analyzes the initiatives at 92 resource and planning institutions that have worked on infusing diversity in their curricula over the past four years. Author Debra Humphreys devotes a chapter to the process and politics of curricular change, considering the factors that contribute to the development of successful, sustainable diversity courses and requirements. She explores the strengths and weaknesses of various strategies and includes syllabi and numerous examples of new diversity curricula.
Revitalizing General Education in a Time of Scarcity examines how higher education institutions have designed and carried out reforms in general education, paying special attention to the implementation of curricular changes. The authors explore the forces that affect educational institutions' transformation efforts, including the impact of a school's culture and politics, the level and predictability of funding, the actions of outside authorities, competition from other colleges and universities, and socioeconomic issues. The book provides a conceptual framework for looking at curriculum change through organizational, economic, political, and cultural lenses, and includes fifteen detailed case studies of institutional revisions.
This 1985 volume includes a study of successful curricular change strategies used by colleges and universities integrating scholarship on and by women into general-education courses. Schmitz offers good advice about many aspects of the politics of curriculum transformation, such as assessing the climate for change, deciding on focus and objectives, hazards in goal-setting, phases of curricular change, obtaining institutional commitment, and capitalizing on existing institutional agendas. The bibliography, while dated, contains many books of model syllabi that are still available.
This article illustrates the politics involved in attempting to institute curriculum reform. Focusing on Duke and Rice Universities' efforts to pass new general education requirements, Alison Schneider compares Duke's successful effort -- credited to good communications and "marketing" efforts on campus, in other words, good management of the change process -- to Rice's failed effort. At Rice, the proposed plan was perceived to be too political; however, a few of the interesting pieces were preserved as pilot programs, etc.
This page last updated October 2000 LB