Change strategies for educational transformation

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Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Engineering Education, 2013, 19 (2), pp. 101 - 108
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The authors present a position paper suggesting that while there is evidence for change within engineering curricula towards best practice, there are significant barriers primarily at the operational level, which bring into question the likelihood of more widespread adoption of hard won gains. It is argued that transformational change is required which (i) alters the culture of the institution by changing select underlying assumptions and institutional behaviours, processes, and products; (ii) is deep and pervasive, affecting the whole institution; (iii) is intentional; and (iv) occurs over time (Kezar & Eckel, 2002). It is also argued that change leadership of this nature must be distributed, not solely laid at the feet of Deans and Vice Chancellors. A strategy for change is presented based on observations and evidence from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) project "Design based curriculum reform within engineering education" and the recently completed ALTC Discipline Scholars' Survey of Engineering Academics grounded in the research for transformational change within businesses, universities and teaching and learning. This model for change proposes the development of a network of change agents built on a brokerage model to improve best practice and leadership capacity through systematically and directly engaging with the strategic/tactical and operational levels of engineering faculties. © Institution of Engineers Australia, 2013.
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