The Delaware Approach: Coming Soon to a Campus Near You?

October 31, 2007

The University of Delaware’s senior residence life staff are so proud of their totalitarian approach to student “education” that they are hoping to export their model to educators from around the country.
In the November–December 2006 issue of About Campus—a magazine for college and university educators—UD Director of Residence Life Kathleen Kerr and Associate Director of Residence Life James Tweedy published an article entitled “Beyond Seat Time and Student Satisfaction: A Curricular Approach to Residential Education.” In that article, Kerr and Tweedy discuss their belief that residence halls “represent an important setting for delivering a curriculum focused on citizenship development.” They discuss their desired “learning goals,” which include requiring each student to, among other things, “explore societal privilege and the experiences of those disadvantaged in our democracy,” “explore social identity privilege,” and “explore class privilege.” They also discuss potential improvements to the program, such as—creepily—“the possibility of identifying behavioral factors that can be observed and recorded by hall staff members.”
Then, in January 2007, Delaware hosted the first Residential Curriculum Institute. According to a university press release, the Institute focused “on UD’s efforts to use a curricular approach to residential education as a replacement for the traditional programming model.” (Those following this case may remember that the quaint and outmoded “programming model” differs from the curricular approach in that it “relies on voluntary attendance.”) Representatives from more than 35 schools across North America registered to attend the Institute.
Let’s hope this frightening approach to education—which relies on indoctrination rather than mere exposure to ideas—is shut down before it spreads any further.

Schools:  University of Delaware

Cases:  University of Delaware: Students Required to Undergo Ideological Reeducation