ERIC Number: ED365187
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Institutional Constraints on the Development of Curricular Policy Alternatives. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Arnold, Gordon B.
A study of the college curriculum decision-making process examined the generation of options or alternatives considered as part of a general education curriculum revision in the late 1980s at a major church-affiliated university. This process was examined in the framework of the rational-choice model of human behavior. Data were gathered from a detailed documentary record and retrospective interviews with key individuals. Archival and ethnographic data were then synthesized to produce a picture of the workings of the decision-making group. The study found that the 2-year curriculum revision resulted in a program not very different from its predecessor, and that none of the curricular alternatives considered was dramatically different from the original program. Factors examined closely included the role of departments and existing school structure in curriculum design, the approach taken to cultural diversity, and creation of a new general education governance committee. The study concluded that in all of these cases, the alternatives considered and the net result supported maintenance of the status quo. In addition, the rational-choice model of decision-making was seen as inadequate for analyzing the complexity of the organizational reform process. (Contains 27 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (18th, Pittsburgh, PA, November 4-7, 1993).