In pursuit of more efficient college curricula
AHEAD’s proposal to the Teagle Foundation derives from two fundamental propositions presented in Checklist for Change. The first holds that higher education is the faculty’s business. It is what faculty do and take responsibility for that will matter most. Achieving that future, as opposed to one of diminished faculty roles, will require forceful but, more important, collective action on the faculty’s part. As individuals, faculty will have to abandon that sense of themselves as independent actors and agents. The second proposition of Checklist for Change holds that the most needed change is curricular change. A substantial portion of the increase in operating expenses at most colleges and universities can be explained in terms of the faculty collectively teaching (and often requiring) more subjects, but individually teaching fewer courses than before. AHEAD’s proposal to the Teagle Foundation seeks funding to support a series of demonstration projects that, over two-and-a-half years, would teach the enterprise more about what works, what doesn’t, and why, by working with the faculty at six to nine institutions seeking to design and implement both more effective and efficient curricula.
Robert Zemsky, Penn GSE