A Process Approach to General Education Reform: Transforming
Institutional Culture in Higher Education
edited by Susan Gano-Phillips and Robert W. Barnett
The call for
general education reform in higher education has sounded clearly and
consistently, but responses to this call have been varied. Gano-Phillips,
Barnett, and the texts contributors believe that many of the
institutional efforts have been content
focused, and they argue that this fragments the efforts, creating
divides between constituencies. Instead, the editors and contributors
urge reformers to adopt a process
focus which creates a community striving toward a goal together.
A Process Approach,
editors Gano-Phillips and Barnett have put together a definitive
collection of essays on the reform of general education programs in
higher education, presented much like case studies. The contributors
come from large and small institutions and from various parts of the
country. Common among all the stories is the emphasis on bringing
together all the stakeholders so that all can be represented and heard.
Collectively, this group then works with a process approach to reach a
general education reform appropriate to and reflective of the individual
and Barnett write in the Introduction:
one-size-fits-all approach has not proven successful historically.
Rather, as campus culture and reform processes are examined in
synchrony, we contend that sustainable and substantive curricular
reform is more likely to occur.
This book offers
readers and reformers paths for examining and encouraging the evolution
of their unique campus cultures. And, through that examination, new and
more useful models can emerge, resulting in a curricular reform that can
be embraced by all.