ERIC Number: ED418065
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Nov-1
A Systemic Approach to Creating and Implementing Curricular Innovation.
Dean, Carol D.; Acker-Hocevar, Michele; Laible, Julie C.
This study examined university curricular reform, explaining how teacher education programs must create innovative curricular redesign to promote the development of students' critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making skills. The study highlighted a school of education in the process of curriculum redesign, using observation, interviews with key stakeholders, and examination of written records kept during the process. The interviews occurred at the university and at four other universities, each of which was diverse and had a connection with the primary site. Results indicated that major curricular changes within the five sites were based on strong beliefs about what constitutes best educational practices. Each school had strong beliefs about encouraging higher order thinking and decision making skills. Each school was moving away from lecture-based to more inquiry-based programs. Barriers to change included faculty fearing job loss, insecurity with new teaching methods, attachment to the status quo, and suspicion of unknown processes. Successful curricular redesigns addressed all of the barriers. Individual resistance had to be overcome for innovations to occur. Involvement of the entire faculty was essential. Faculty members worked collaboratively to establish common goals. Four areas necessary for successful change are: seeking paths to personal mastery and challenges to existing mental models; viewing team learning and shared vision as essential; making change systemic; and having supportive, not directive, leaders. (Contains 38 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, College Faculty, Critical Thinking, Curriculum Design, Decision Making, Educational Change, Educational Innovation, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Problem Solving, Resistance to Change, Teacher Attitudes, Thinking Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the University Council for Educational Administration (Orlando, FL, November 1, 1997).