The Center for Curriculum Transformation promotes and supports curriculum development aimed at teaching and learning to think critically about cultural diversity. This mission is supported by a Faculty Senate Resolution on Cultural and Ethnic Diversity (3 March 1994).
The Center assists both individual faculty members and academic departments in developing courses and curricula that include the study of race, gender, ethnicity, nation and nationhood, class, disability, sexuality and religion and their intersections. The Center also disseminates research on curriculum transformation and pedagogical innovation through a web site and publications.
The Center for Curriculum Transformation was created in 1993 through Ford Foundation funding and in-kind support from the Department of American Ethnic Studies and the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education. The project built upon significant expertise in curriculum transformation at the University that had developed as a result of previous Ford Foundation grants and the hiring of faculty members with special expertise in this area.
The concept of curriculum transformation emerged in higher education in the 1970s from projects to incorporate women studies scholarship across the curriculum. Two Ford Foundation grants to the Northwest Center for Research on Women in the late 1980s, the Different Voices Project and the Evaluation Project for the Foundation's Mainstreaming Minority Women's Studies Project, developed the university's expertise in curriculum transformation.
Subsequent grants from the Ford Foundation to the Department of American Ethnic Studies expanded the impact of curriculum transformation: a UW companion grant (to the statewide UW/Washington Center Cultural Pluralism Project) which created the curriculum transformation project, a grant to host the Foundation's Campus Diversity Initiative Conference in October 1993, and a grant to develop courses and curriculum exploring intersections of race, gender, ethnicity and other constructs of difference. The National Endowment for the Humanities also awarded UW a grant to integrate American pluralism into selected humanities curricula.