Week 2

Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. Think about: (a) The ways in which you may have experienced the Tyler rationale in your own schooling; (b) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible; and (c) What are some potential benefits/what is made possible. Be sure to refer to the assigned article in your post; you may also include information from lecture if you wish.

It was not until the lecture that I heard the name Ralph Tyler however, after learning about the Tyler rationale, his idea of the curriculum was very familiar. Throughout the entirety of my schooling, from elementary to university, Tyler’s rationale has been apparent in my classes. As stated earlier in the lecture, Tyler’s rationale teaches with the end goal in mind. This is proven to be true throughout my high school experience where the end goal was to be prepared to join the workforce. We would learn how to be professional by learning how to delegate time. This could mean, handing assignments in, finishing work in a given period, or arriving to class before the bell. Looking further back to my elementary years I can still hear my teachers saying “you need to know this for next year” or “this wouldn’t be acceptable in next year’s school year”.

The skeletal structure of my classes was to be taught something, and then show my understanding of it by evaluation. Though this seems like an efficient way of learning, it is not feasible. For myself as a student, I have never been a good test writer, because for the most part the tests were largely composed of memorization which is not one of my strong suits. When studying I would have large and complex stories made up in my head that would define a word or spell out acronyms. My friends would always say “why can’t you just remember it” and I never really did have an answer, it was just something that I always had to do. That being said, this is a prime example of how Tylers “one size fits all” theory is flawed. When it comes down to it, students like myself went through school by regurgitating information but never retaining it. 

    One of the major limitations of the Tyler rationale is that it only assesses the student’s understanding at the end, and not throughout the learning. This limits the potential of the students’ understanding as they may fall behind and struggle to catch up. There is also the known fact that all students do not and will not learn at the same pace with the same methods. In the Tyler method, students are understood to have the same experiences, understandings, reading levels…etc. This is not true and can be a very harmful mindset to a student. This goes hand in hand with the reading Curriculum Theory and Practice by Smith. In the reading under Curriculum as a Product, Smith states “students end up with little to no voice, they are told what they must learn and how they will do it”. This model not only takes away the voice of the student but can take away from the teacher as well. It implies that there is no trust between the teachers and a curriculum set up this way. 

    The potential benefits of this method could be for students who are moving frequently. Fortunately, as a student, I never had to move schools within a school year but my heart always went out to the ones who did. Since there is no regulation for when subjects/topics are taught a student may miss out on large sections of the curriculum. For example, a student in their first school could be finished learning units 1, 2, and 3, and then when they move to a new school they have already finished the units 4, 5, and 6, and are now leaning units 1, 2, and 3. In this case, the student would have benefited from having simultaneous timelines throughout the schools. 

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