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Social Expectations, Faculty Roles and Curricular Change

Social Expectations, Faculty Roles and Curricular Change

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Social Expectations, Faculty Roles and Curricular Change

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  1. Social Expectations, Faculty Roles and Curricular Change James L. Ratcliff, Ph.D. Performance Associates Postsecondary Consulting Pueblo West, CO 81007-1334 Phone: 719-671-6032  Email: JRatcliff@HigherEdConsultants.com

  2. Access to Higher Education Has Grown! • Knowledge has exploded • More and more jobs require higher education • Governments see higher education as an entitlement to those who are able Worldwide, greater proportions of the population are enrolling in higher education

  3. As Access Increases, • Student diversity increases • Knowledge fragments and specializes • Demand for social relevance increases • Academic departments grow in size

  4. Higher Education has a dual, competing social role: • to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of citizens to provide • knowledge workers, • leaders, and • a means of individual advancement in a democratic society. • to determent the criteria and standards for the attainment of positions of competence and leadership in society.

  5. Academic staff are asked us to move beyond traditional practices to address complex social demands Chronicle of Higher Education

  6. Some Key Stakeholders in University Degree Programs • University academic leaders • Program administrators • Academic staff • Future and current students • Employers of the program graduates • Accrediting agencies • Postgraduate programs

  7. Key Questions for Stakeholders: • What is the need for a particular program of study? • What should be the purpose of such a program? • What should the program include? • What knowledge? • What skills and abilities? • What values and attitudes? • How should the program’s success be evaluated?

  8. What Employer Wantin College Graduates • Higher-Order Applied Problem-Solving Abilities • "Enthusiasm" for Learning on a Continuous Basis • Interpersonal Skills • teamwork and collaboration • oral and written communication • Sense of Responsibility for Action • personal • collective • Ability to Bridge Cultural and Linguistic Barriers • Sense of "Professionalism" National Center for Higher Education Management Systems

  9. Since WWII, the knowledge base of most fields has fragmented in several sub-disciplines. Students enter with more varied (and often less) preparation in subject. Employers want more practical, experience-based instruction. Reductions in staff mean faculty must teach more with fewer staff. How can faculty stay abreast of an ever-expanding literature? How can faculty decide what should be included in the curriculum? How can faculty learn to use computers, the Web, for teaching? How construct research that impacts government, business, and civic life? Consider the work of faculty:

  10. Faculty lives are changing rapidly: • The knowledge base of our work is growing, specializing, fragmenting, and re-forming with ever increasing speed. • The technology of our work is growing ever-more complex, requiring greater expertise on our part and greater reliance on the expertise of others. • The continued pressure on us to do more with less, the effect of past reductions and consolidations, and the on-going demands for accountabilty require us to focus, to decide what is important, and to act quickly and decisely.

  11. Current status of academic staff and some implications for faculty development: • Faculty need to commit personally to continuous learning and improvement; • The success of faculty work is interdependent, not independent; • Faculty need to recognize that they cannot develop the expertise or even keep up in all the areas of our work; • Faculty need to rely more on each others expertise to be engaged, effective, and enthusiastic about our work; • Faculty need to build a community supportive of each others work.

  12. Professional Service “Professional Service refers to work that draw’s upon one’s professional expertise and is an outgrowth of one’s academic discipline. It is composed of the same activities as traditional teaching and research but directed toward a different audience and toward society’s welfare.” Sandra Elman and Sue Smock, 1985

  13. Engagement Engagement is an initiative characterized by shared goals, a shared agenda, agreed upon definitions of success that are meaningful both to the university and to community participants, and the pooling and leveraging of funds. It is mutually beneficial and is likely to promote learning for all parties and build capacity and competency for all participants.

  14. The Scholarship of Engagement “The academy must become a more vigorous partner in the search for answers to our most pressing social, civic, economic and moral problems, and must reaffirm its historic commitment to what I call the scholarship of engagement.” “The scholarship of engagement means connecting the rich resources of the university to our pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers, and to our [communities].” Ernest Boyer, 1995

  15. Five Skills of a Learning Organization • Systematic problem-solving. • Experimentation with new approaches. • Learning from our experience and past history. • Learning from the experience and best practices of others. • Transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the University.

  16. So, what needs to be done? • How much and in what ways should academic staff devote time to professional development? • What are the implications for academic work and how academic staff work together? • What are the implications for how academic staff interact and engage others -- in communities, other institutions of higher education, businesses and industries?

  17. Clear Expectations for Student Learning Common Principles for the Teaching / Learning Process Pathways to Enhancing the Student Experience Where We Are Headed: How We Will Get There:

  18. Higher-Order Applied Problem-Solving Abilities "Enthusiasm" for Learning on a Continuous Basis Interpersonal Skills teamwork and collaboration oral and written communication Sense of Responsibility for Action personal collective Ability to Bridge Cultural and Linguistic Barriers Sense of "Professionalism" Give special attention to early years of university education. Provide coherent, progressive learning. Create synthesizing experiences. Require ongoing practice of skills. Provide considerable time on task. Assess learning and give prompt feedback. Plan collaborative learning experiences. Respect diverse talents & ways of knowing. Increase informal contact with students. Clear Expectations for Student Learning Guidelines for the Teaching / Learning Process

  19. Quality and Communication • A quality is an attribute or set of attributes of a phenomena; • The attributes constituting the quality are selected by the viewer; • The attributes become part of the social construction of understanding of the phenomena through communication; • The communicative dimension of quality premise social understanding of the phenomena.

  20. Quality of Education • Its meaning is derived from social interaction; • For higher education, it refers to what institutions warrant to society: • Degrees • Faculty • Students • Universities may warrant regionally, nationally, and internationally. • The warrant is a key attribute to the State Building University (SBU).

  21. Social Warrants • What are they? • What do they rely upon? • Social credibility relies on the quality of the warrant. • Enron • Arthur Andersen • Worldcom

  22. Social and Political Credibility often become confused • The value of the warrant relies on the social credibility of the institution; • Financial support, particularly of public institutions, rely more directly on political credibility. • As one of the most stable of institutions, the university tends to assume its social credibility. • As one of the more vulnerable and contentious institutions, universities tend to fear for its political credibility.

  23. Levels of Quality Discourse • Global • International • National • State, Lander, region • Higher education sector • Program or service area • Course or single activity or service

  24. Internal Stakeholder Discourse • Internal discourse • Faculty • Students • Administrators • Students Services • Boards of Directors

  25. External Stakeholder Discourse • External discourses – local • Secondary schools • Transfer-sending institutions • Employers • Transfer-receiving institutions

  26. State and national dialogues on curricular innovation • Networks of practice • Networks of administration • Networks of system coordination and governance

  27. Social and Political Credibility often become confused • The value of the warrant relies on the social credibility of the institution; • Financial support, particularly of public institutions, rely more directly on political credibility. • As one of the most stable of institutions, the university tends to assume its social credibility. • As one of the more vulnerable and contentious institutions, universities tend to fear for its political credibility.

  28. International and global discourse • Institutions in countries of relevant international trade agreements • Institutions in geographically-proximous countries • Global discourse on universal trends, issues, standards and practices

  29. Bases for a Dialogic Modelof Program Quality • University curriculum is an organization of knowledge; • Its basic building blocks are courses (lectures) and courses (programs of study) ; • Courses are aligned with how disciplines organize their knowledge; • Courses are derived of oral and written communication within disciplinary cultures.

  30. Dialogic Criteria for Coherent Curricula • Cohesion • the extent to which the curricular goals are best represented and achieved through the learning activities selected, and the extent to which learning expectations are articulated and assessed and communicated back to students so they might know their emerging strengths and weakness better; • Context • the extent to which the course relates to the program, and the program to the institutional aims for general and liberal learning;

  31. Dialogic Criteria for Coherent Curricula (Continued) • Continuity • the extent to which the curriculum connects to prior learning and that which is most likely to following, employing students existing abilities and challenging them to develop them further; • Concordance • the extent to which the curriculum works in concert with other levels and facets of the collegiate experience to engage, enrich, and enlighten students.

  32. References • Aronwitz, S. (2000). The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Press. • Bleiklie, I. (2002). Explaining change in higher education policy. In P. Trowler (Ed.), Higher Education Policy and Institutional Change (pp. 24-25). Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. • Brown, J. S. & Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information. New York: Harper Row. • De Wit, Hans (2002). Internationalization of Higher Education in the United States of America and Europe: A Historical, Comparative, and Conceptual Analysis. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press. • Haug, G. (1999). Trends and Issues in learning structures in higher education in Europe. The Bologna Forum. http://www.unige.ch/ere/activities/Bologna%20Forum/texts • Kerber, C. (ed). (2006). International Policy Perspectives on Improving Learning with Limited Resources. New Directions for Higher Education Series, No. 133, Spring 2006. • Modica, L. (1999). Introductory address to the Bologna Forum. http://www.unige.ch/ere/activities/Bologna%20Forum/texts • Slaughter, S. (1998). National higher education policies in a global economy. In J. Currie and J. Newson (eds.), Universities and Globalization: Critical Perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishers. • Stark, Lowther, Bentley, et al. (1990). Planning introductory college courses. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan. • Trowler, P. (2004). Policy and change: Academic development units and the Bologna Declaration. International Journal for Academic Development. 9(2), 195-200. • World Conference on Higher Education (WCHE). (1998). Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century: Vision and Action. Vol I, Final Report. Paris: UNESCO.