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ERIC Number: ED356493
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Curriculum Reform: Can We Afford It?
Marshall, Donald G.
Based on his department's experience with curriculum change, the head of the English department at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) concluded that curriculum change must be local, incremental, and unending. A consequence of the claim that curriculum change should be local is that proposed changes must be consistent with local realities--and resources are an obvious and key component of local realities. Budgets are never just lists of numbers, since they exhibit the translation of choices into realities. UIC became a bachelor's degree granting institution in 1965. At that time virtually all the faculty taught composition and introductory literature courses in small sections of about 25 students. The first doctorate was awarded in 1983, but the number of English majors (and faculty) declined sharply in the 1980s. As faculty numbers declined and graduate student numbers increased, composition was handed over to teaching assistants. UIC devotes substantial resources to train teaching assistants. The training provided is an important mechanism for socializing new instructors and for establishing a strong sense that the teaching assistants are developing into professional colleagues who are sustaining a vital departmental and university program worthy of their energies and their pride. Any program, whether one beyond the means of a department or within them, has good and bad, advantages and disadvantages, and both will be different in each case. The task of departments is to face reality squarely--refusing avoidable constraints and seeking possible improvements. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A