Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sisyphus's Fault: How the Shifting Terrain of a Changing Institution Makes Curriculum Reform an "Impossible Task"
by Mande, Molly, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2017, 157; 10285331
Abstract (Summary)

This action research-based case study uses interviews, documents, observations, and field notes to trace the reform and implementation of the developmental English course at Pacific Sacred Heart University and to explore the contextual factors that hindered the success of the reform. Data were collected from interviews with 15 faculty members and administrators. Participants were selected based on their knowledge or participation in the reform and/or implementation of the developmental English course.

The major finding highlights the significant effect that recent major institutional change had on the culture of the institution. The data showed that vital factors of campus culture, including values and beliefs, norms, processes, symbols, and physical space, were no longer clearly defined, causing campus-wide division, confusion, fear, and frustration. This fractured culture had also led to unclear or conflicting leadership, lenient hiring practices, and a diminished support system. Furthermore, the data suggested that these factors created a foundation for reform that was likely too unstable to produce meaningful change. The main implication of these findings is the importance of having stable campus culture before attempting further change in the form of reform. A secondary implication is that the potential for significant instability was likely already present before the institutional change occurred and is likely to persist. Thus, recommendations for practice include measures for stabilization—such as a campus-wide needs assessment—for growth—such as community development—and for fortification against future instability.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hsieh, Betina
Commitee: Chase, Megan, Reese, Leslie
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership
Keywords: Campus culture, Curriculum reform, Developmental English
Publication Number: 10285331
ISBN: 978-0-355-09736-8
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