ERIC Number: ED325042
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
The Damage of Innovations Set Adrift. Change for the Worst.
White, Edward M.
American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, v43 n3 p3-5 Nov 90
This short 3-page article presents four examples of innovative higher education programs that failed because the ideas were imported from other institutions without understanding the substructures that were needed for success. In the first case study, a Writing Across the Curriculum program was implemented through writing-intensive courses instituted in each department, with three courses required for a degree, but administrative support was not forthcoming and teachers received no training in ways to use writing to assist learning. A program was designed to replace the freshman English placement test with a requirement that students accumulate a binder of writing done in high school which would be evaluated for placement. The resources and plans needed for dealing with the thousands of submitted portfolios never materialized, so entering students now place themselves into freshman or remedial English. A university established a writing center but hired, as tutors, graduate teaching assistants who spoke little or no English. A university established a writing examination as a graduation requirement, but so many students taking the test failed that the standards had to be lowered and writing has come to represent a punishment. The article concludes with a formula for failure: Imagine that ideas that work elsewhere will solve problems quickly and inexpensively, without building support and substructures, and without prolonged attention. (JDD)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A