ERIC Number: ED309733
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum Reform in Higher Education. The Current Debate and Issues for Faculty. To Promote Academic Justice and Excellence Series.
National Education Association, Washington, DC.
A background for discussion of curriculum reform and some concrete examples of what is occurring in parts of the United States are presented. The current debate over the undergraduate curriculum is reviewed, summarizing the criticisms and key recommendations of the most influential recent reports. State and institutional responses to these reports are reviewed, and key issues for faculty are discussed. Six sections deal with the following topics: context of the current debate; the critiques (i.e., there is no shared vision or purpose, there is poor intellectual integration, there is inadequate depth, and there is not enough attention paid to methods and styles of inquiry); causes of current problems (competition for students, new institutional priorities, and weaker standards); proposed reforms (especially as contained in the Association of American Colleges and National Institute of Education reports); institutional and state responses; and issues for faculty (establishing curriculum priorities, protecting professional prerogatives, reassessing faculty reward systems, and ensuring adequate support for faculty). Seven conclusions include the following: faculty should insist on a primary role in curricular reform; faculty should work to see that good teaching is encouraged, recognized, and rewarded; and faculty should be vigilant in protecting the academic freedom of their colleagues. Two appendices discuss (1) the components of the undergraduate curriculum and (2) the NEA Policy Statement on Curricular Reform. Suggestions on further reading are provided, including the Carnegie Foundation "Trilogy" on the curriculum, the reform reports, including Lynne Cheney's Humanities in America (1988) and a response to Cheney published by the American Council of Learned Societies. (SM)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Curriculum, Curriculum Development, Educational Quality, Excellence in Education, Faculty Development, Higher Education, Position Papers, Teacher Improvement, Undergraduate Study
National Education Association, Office of Higher Education, 1201 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Education Association, Washington, DC.