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Stephen Sweet (Associate Professor of Sociology) and Kevin McElrath (Sociology Major Class of 2014) Publish Article on Curriculum Design
Contributed by Sharon Loucks on 04/25/2014
Stephen Sweet’s (Associate Professor of Sociology) and Kevin McElrath’s (Sociology Major Class of 2014) article “The Coordinated Curriculum: How Institutional Theory Can Be Used To Catalyze Revision of the Sociology Major” has been accepted for publication in the journal Teaching Sociology.
“The Coordinated Curriculum: How Institutional Theory Can Be Used To Catalyze Revision of the Sociology Major Content’ provides analysis of 77 college and university catalogs and department websites to assess conformity with select recommendations presented in the report Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major Updated (McKinney et al. 2004). Findings reveal that the majority of colleges and universities have programs that fulfill many of the recommendations examined, but only a minority fulfills most or all of the recommendations studied, indicating that some sociology programs are much more coordinated than others. Fewer than one in three institutions with sociology majors have programs that fully or nearly fully conform to the measured recommendations presented in the report. By benchmarking current levels of curricular coordination and identifying institutions that may represent “a gold standard”, the study reveals prevailing practices as well as aspirational models. Institutional theory is used to provide guidance on how to use benchmark data to inform efforts to advance curricular coordination. Ed Kain (Professor of Sociology at Southwestern University) is co-author of the article.