Handbook of the Undergraduate Curriculum: A Comprehensive Guide to Purposes, Structures, Practices, and Change / Edition 1

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This volume offers a compAndium of the best ideas, analyses, and practices relating to the undergraduate curriculum as described by leading figures in the field. It contains both conceptual and practical information on effective practices, research, management, and assessment. In thirty-four original chapters, top practitioners and scholars detail a range of philosophies, frameworks, program designs, instructional strategies, and assessment methods being used to strengthen and transform the curriculum. They examine both the current state of knowledge and teaching in the disciplines and the forces that will reshape the curriculum in the coming years. The Handbook of Undergraduate Curriculum will prove valuable both to practitioners—as an operating manual or desk reference—and to faculty as a primary text for graduate courses on the curriculum. In addition, the book will be a useful tool for those serving on a general education curriculum committee or conducting a departmental review of a major program, as well as having numerous other practical applications for anyone with responsibility for or interest in the curriculum.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book is a feast of current thinking, which is exactly how faculty—who come to the table with many different viewpoints and interests—need to be served.? (Russell Edgerton, president, American Association for Higher Education)

"Breathtakingly comprehensive in its reach—from the history and philosophy of the curriculum to administration and assessment." (The Review of Higher Education)

'If policy makers, administrators, and faculty will use this book to create common ground for discussion, we might succeed in making the necessary reforms in undergraduate education that will allow students to meet the future competently.This book will become an essential tool for any department, college, or campus wanting to make significant change in undergraduate education.? (Reba L. Keele, professor of management, founding dean of undergraduate studies, University of Utah)

• This book is a feast of current thinking, which is exactly how faculty—who come to the table with many different viewpoints and interests—need to be served.? (Russell Edgerton, president, American Association for Higher Education)

• Jerry Gaff and Jim Ratcliff have gathered a diverse and informed group of contributors to present an amazingly comprehensive source concerning undergraduate curriculum. It should be of great value to anyone involved with college curriculum.? (Robert H. McCabe, senior league fellow, MacArthur Fellow, president emeritus, Miami-Dade Community College, League for Innovation in the Community College Education)

• This volume reflects the excitement and the significance of current changes and issues in the college curriculum. It will be an essential resource for anyone even tangentially involved in academic change today.? (Daryl G. Smith, professor of education and psychology, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, California)

Spotlighting the contentious issues over innovation in undergraduate curricula, Gaff (vice president, Association of American Colleges and Universities), Ratcliff (director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, Penn State), and 55 other contributors survey diverse routes to higher education reform. The unifying premise is that quality education necessitates reversal of the trend toward increasing fragmentation of the academic learning experience. Viewpoints span: the evolving aims of such education from historical, philosophical, and social perspectives; specialized learning in academic disciplines; reform across disciplines; curriculum administration and assessment; and the inevitable tensions between tradition and change. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JERRY G. GAFF is vice president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and he directs the Preparing Future Faculty program.

JAMES L. RATCLIFF is professor of higher education and the director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Pennsylvania State University. He is also director of the National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.

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Table of Contents


What Is a Curriculum and What Should It Be? (J. Ratcliff).

Institutional Contexts (E. Hawthorne).

Key Turning Points in the Evolving Curriculum (A. Levine & J. Nidiffer).

Philosophies and Aims (B. Fuhrmann).

Structures and Practices (P. Hutcheson).

Social Forces Shaping the Curriculum (M. Garcia & J. Ratcliff).


Quality and Coherence in General Education (J. Ratcliff).

Developing Intellectual Skills (A. Doherty, et al.).

Diversity and Educational Integrity (C. Musil).

Strengthening Preparedness of At-Risk Students (D. McGrath & B. Townsend).


The Arts and Sciences Major (C. Schneider).

The Humanities (L. White).

The Natural Sciences and Mathematics (G. Wubbels & J. Girgus).

The Social Sciences (A. Hendershott & S. Wright).

The Arts (E. Harris).

Professional Education (L. Curry & J. Wergin).

Occupational Education (D. Clowes).


Teaching "Across the Curriculum" (E. Maimon).

Advancing Interdisciplinary Studies (J. Klein & W. Newell).

Internationalizing the Curriculum (J. Johnston & J. Spalding).

Transforming the Curriculum Through Diversity (E. Olguin & B. Schmitz).

Creating Learning Communities (R. Matthews, et al.).

Using Technology (J. Farmer).


Administering the Curriculum (F. Janzow, et al.).

Building Academic Community While Containing Costs (M. Reardon & J. Ramaley).

Achieving Effectiveness and Efficiency (A. Ferren).

Promoting Coherence in Transfer Practices (J. Eaton).

Evaluating Learning in Individual Courses (B. Wright).

Assessing Learning in Programs (D. Farmer & E. Napieralski).

Identifying Indicators of Curricular Quality (P. Ewell).


Strategies for Change (J. Lindquist).

Implementing Change (J. Civian, et al.).

Supporting Curriculum Development (G. Sell & B. Lounsberry).

Tensions Between Tradition and Innovation (J. Gaff).

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