ERIC Number: ED254091
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Uniting the Faculty Behind a Changed Curriculum.
A redesign of the basic foreign language courses at the University of Michigan--Flint, stimulated by a need for improved enrollment and retention and for more language majors, had the result of improving faculty cooperation and teaching. Before the curriculum development effort, the program reflected individual faculty preferences and characteristics, and the attitude that curriculum problems were to be dealt with by the department chairman. The curriculum change took the form of rescheduling of courses into two tracks, a comprehension track and a combined comprehension/speaking track. Results included some additional teaching time, a 20% enrollment increase, faculty scheduling problems, and some unforeseen problems of coordinating classroom practice and instructional materials. In response to these problems, faculty members began to consult with each other about teaching methods and strategies and to be less concerned about individual instructional autonomy. In addition, the department applied for and received a federal grant to bring a consultant to campus to evaluate the program. The presence of the consultant resulted in even more open exchange among the faculty and administration, with students, with the consultant, and with another institution. Subsequently, a new faculty commitment to quality in the introductory courses and a plan for faculty performance evaluation also developed, and the department was further supported by an institutional award for excellence in teaching. (MSE)
Descriptors: Case Studies, College Faculty, Cooperation, Coordination, Curriculum Development, Departments, French, German, Higher Education, Introductory Courses, Language Enrollment, Language Skills, Personal Autonomy, Scheduling, Second Language Instruction, Spanish, State Universities, Teacher Attitudes
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: University of Michigan Flint
Note: Revised version of paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (Chicago, IL, November 16-18, 1984).