Making Curricular Change: Case Report of a Radical Reconstruction Process

Making Curricular Change: Case Report of a Radical Reconstruction Process

A. Kamp, R. Klaassen (2013).  Making Curricular Change: Case Report of a Radical Reconstruction Process. 17.


Educational change is technically relatively simple but socially complex. Making effective change in engineering curricula is problematic and often fails by too high ambitions, too short development time frames, inconsistent design and a lack of a systems approach, but also by poor leadership, lack of ownership and low faculty engagement. Literature tells that typically only 30% of the original objectives of an intended curriculum change are achieved in the as-built programme. In the period 2006-2010 TU Delft Faculty of Aerospace Engineering has reestablished the profile of the bachelor and made a radical reconstruction by recalibrating the content and introducing a state-of-the-art active teaching approach. The innovative bachelor educates tomorrow’s engineers in the context of conception, design, implementation and operation of aircraft and spacecraft systems and processes.

The paper gives an inside look in the reconstruction process. It shows that curriculum change is engineering and not science; it is politics and not always rational. The paper starts with an update of the educational vision that resulted in the prime objectives of change. It follows thesystems approach with the student as the user and co-producer of the education always in mind. It addresses the design and development plan of the reconstruction, its organisation andleadership, and the role of upper management. They change over time and depend on the phase of development.

Proceedings of the 9th International CDIO Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 9 – 13, 2013. 


Authors (New): 
Aldert Kamp
Renate Klaassen
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
educational change
curricular change
education reform
change process
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