Curriculum Theory and Practice: Tyler Rationale

The Tyler Rationale theory of curriculum greatly affected my elementary schooling because of attending a school in such a small rural community. The four questions his theory was based around are, “What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?” (Smith, 2000, p. 4). I was always in a multiple grade spilt classroom so school became more of meeting the outcomes and getting a good grade rather than focused around learning. But even in more depth than that the way we were taught was very structural and organized due to teachers having multiple grade and having to meet different outcomes for each grade. There were very few teachers at my school, often times each teacher took on the role of multiple grades which lead to many assignments done just on paper and following a procedure to get the correct answers. When I was in grade six math, I was in a four-grade split and often times the teacher would give us a chapter and an assignment then tell us to go in a different room to learn the chapter out of the textbook. 

Some of the major limitations for this theory are that is becomes more about the product and not about the procedure, this just puts into the students mind that we only care about the final grade, and that we do not actually care about the student learning. In the article they discuss some of the main down falls of this theory and one of the big ones is that children leave school then do not practice what was taught because of a lack of interest in what is being taught. “The problem here is that such programmes inevitably exit prior to and outside the learning experience. This takes much away from learners.” (Smith, 2000, p. 4). Children are told what they must learn and, in many cases, there is no want to learn further into such topic. Children are not taught about topics in this day in age that need to be discussed such as gender, race, sexuality, etc. “They can end up with little to no voice. They are told what they must learn and how they will do it. The success or failure of both the programme and the individual learners is judged on the basis of weather pre-specified changes occur in the behaviour and the person of the learner.” (Smith, 2000, p. 4).

The two major benefits that I personally picked out from this theory of curriculum is similar knowledge and the ability of being measured. The curriculum follows the four major questions posed by Ralph W. Tyler then when answer we pull out what needs to be taught these are broken into smaller parts which eventually lead to a unit and a lesson. We measure the capacity of what the learners are about to absorb, so we can measure then on where they are compared to other students and what they are able to do. “It can lead to an approach to education and assessment which resembles a shopping list. When all the items ae ticked, the person has passed the course and has learnt something.”,(Smith, 2000,p. 5). Another reason for why this curriculum theory is beneficial is a certain group of learners has the similar knowledge, so when we move into more difficult subject areas we are able to learn further.    

Hello I'm Chelsey Wolf, I grew up in Wapella, Saskatchewan. I grew up on a farm and I am the second oldest of six children. I have a loving being outdoors and I really love softball. I am on the University of Regina softball Cougars team.

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