New book discusses how institutional dynamics drive success

A new book co-edited by Jillian Kinzie describes how institutions and departments influence the success of structural and cultural transformations to advance curricular reform.

Transforming Academic Culture and Curriculum: Integrating and Scaffolding Research Throughout Undergraduate Education” is the culmination of a National Science Foundation grant awarded to the co-authors via the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR). The council’s project — a six-year, longitudinal research study — examined the process of transforming student learning and academic culture through scaffolding, a type of classroom teaching technique, and connecting research into undergraduate curricula.

According to Kinzie, the book uniquely spans both theory and practice as it highlights the project’s twin goals of assisting departments to better understand the factors that are conducive to institutional change, while actively developing more research-rich curricula and engaged academic cultures. It also provides much needed institutional examples and strategies for transforming curriculum, culture, and sustaining change. The book also includes a novel “toolkit” of practical approaches created by project leaders and participants to assist campuses interested in taking on similar curricular and cultural transformations.