Abstract

Despite efforts of both administration and faculty, the intent and the execution of new curricular initiatives are not always in alignment. To understand how the declaration of a campus-wide general education initiative was being implemented, this article combines analyses of syllabi and courses from across disciplines. In an initial review, the goal was to understand how new elements of Core Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes were being incorporated into syllabi. After this general review, the authors sought to understand how core elements associated specifically with reading were being implemented in syllabi and in the classroom. This article finds that while critical analysis and reading are valued as cornerstones of the university, the details of who is responsible for teaching and assessing these important features remains less clear. “Reading” is variously prevalent across disciplinary courses: while present in the course structure and assessment mechanisms of syllabi across the university, there is little evidence that instructors are holding themselves responsible for teaching and assessing it as an intellectual practice. Amid a national scholarly conversation about reading and its role in critical thinking, this study contributes ideas for how institutions can more explicitly align stated values with curricular outcomes in practice.

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