Academic Exchange Quarterly     Fall 2015     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 19, Issue 3

Curriculum Issues and Directions

In this Fall 2015 issue, articles on curriculum issues and directions present timely, relevant and cutting-edge practices, processes, and insights on crafting effective curriculum for learners.

Through several articles we find thematic commonalities and overlap regarding a student-centered focus for ensuring meaningfulness of learning; specifically with regard to, developing awareness of cultural differences in communicating with others, embedding social justice within curricular content and course activities, and soliciting connections of course readings with student-crafted thoughts and reflections. Two other articles share visions of heightening transfer skills and readiness of community college students to four-year institutions and future employment. One of these articles examines the hidden curriculum within developmental reading, writing, and mathematics courses that may limit students’ entry into and academic success in upper-level colleges. The other article argues for the need to retain Humanities within community college curriculum as these courses significantly impact and best prepare all students for their selected career goal as contributors to society. All articles demonstrate thoughtfulness of the curriculum designers, commitment to their practice, and conceptual soundness of ideas shared. Details of those articles follow.

Wadlington, Elliott, and Jacob expand our understanding of the impact of diverse cultural backgrounds on communication processes. They highlight how teachers’ awareness of socially-constructed cultural styles when transmitting and receiving exchanges is paramount in preventing negative effects of miscommunications and optimizing communicative intentions with others.

Ardovini exemplifies how social justice can be genuinely applied through a comprehensive student-centered curriculum design. She shares how her institution empowers students’ learning and provides them with skills that are practical and globally impactful.

Kenney and Evans examine how students’ creation of Text Connections help them prepare for class dialogues, activities, and interactions. They found that students meaningfully applied the writing process and strategy to their readings and class discussions.

Mitchell and Alozie explore the impact of the hidden curriculum of developmental courses on community college students’ academic adjustment to four-year institutions. They found that community college experiences regarding class size, structure, pedagogical strategies and relational aspects between faculty and students constrained participants’ regulation and transfer of skills. Recommendations are provided for augmenting curriculum in community colleges.

Robbins and Latz advocate for humanities remaining core to the community college learning experience. They share that humanities courses are pivotal to transfer curricula and more importantly support “democratic ideals of an informed citizenry” crucial to modern society.

Curriculum Issues and Directions is an ongoing topic of interest to readers as we all strive to optimize our impact on learners and their academic experiences. You are welcome to submit your manuscript for Fall 2016 issue
There are six simple submission steps
Additionally, in Winter 2016/2017, Academic Exchange Quarterly will publish a Sound Instruction Book focused on this curriculum theme.
We welcome the opportunity to share your innovative ideas with this quarterly academic audience in 50+ countries

Denise McDonald, Ed.D.
Feature Editor, Curriculum Issues and Directions
Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Teacher Education
University of Houston – Clear Lake
Houston, TX
Editors' Choice an open access publication     Zeitgeist Essay - challenging issues that arise in classes     How-to-essay      Sound Instruction Series