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The Art of Curriculum Change

By Sheryl Sorby


The College of Engineering at Michigan Technological University (MTU) is in the process of undergoing significant curricular change. The authors were co-PIs on a successful Action Agenda proposal to bring about sweeping change in undergraduate engineering education at MTU and have been extensively involved in all aspects of the curriculum reform efforts at MTU--including revamping general education requirements, developing the implementation plans for a common first-year engineering program, and restructuring the template for the engineering curricula. Through our countless hours spent in committee meetings, we have sometimes, but not always, been able to persuade, threaten, cajole and/or convince our colleagues both in and out of engineering to bring about necessary revisions to the undergraduate curricula here at MTU. This paper will examine successful and non-successful strategies for curricular change and will draw on the ancient wisdom of a Chinese general, Sun Tzu. We will relate our own experiences to the strategies for war outlined in his book, The Art of War, and will make recommendations for others who find themselves in raging battles regarding curricular change

Year: 1999
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