ECS 210 – Curriculum Theory & the Tyler Rationale


As future teachers, we are constantly coming into contact with new information, ways of knowing and teaching, and viewpoints that can all become assets in our future careers, but sometimes we must sit back and think about what all these different viewpoints are truly trying to tell us, and why they are there to begin with.

Within the article discussed this week, the topic of the Tyler Rationale came to the centre of attention. The Tyler Rationale, when defined, is an ordered way of passing curriculum to students in which one must complete a certain task before moving onto the next one, and so forth. This is something I definitely experienced on a daily basis during my own school career, and is actually quite common in most classrooms. An example could be a student completing a test, and once they are done the first page, they must bring it up to the teacher to receive the next page. Some subjects, such as English and History tended to be less sequential, when others, such as Math, were set up and taught in a way that it would be very difficult to learn the concepts if not completed in this manner.

When looking at limitations of the Tyler Rationale, many topics and problems come to mind, beginning with the issue of learning styles. Depending on the student, everyone has their own personal learning style, or the style of teaching that they seem to find to work better for them and lead them to more success than others. When the Tyler Rationale is then applied to a classroom, making the lesson follow a mannerly, restrictive order, some students may feel that this is limiting their learning, since they possibly prefer to begin to understand the topic from the top and break it down into smaller pieces, rather than the ladder.

But, on the other hand, many benefits to this system can also be seen, such as the ability for teachers who use this system to always have an orderly teaching plan on hand, and know exactly how they will lay the class out, and when each subtopic will be discussed. Another benefit is the predictability of how classes will turn out, and what to expect of students during a certain week. This type of predictability and readiness for a teacher is super attractive, since classroom planning does not always go as planned, or as orderly as one may want.

As we advance farther and farther towards are teaching careers, I believe that considering and analyzing the benefits and problems of different styles of teaching and classroom systems is very important to our growth and development, since we must learn that our own personal viewpoints on how a classroom should be set up are not the only viewpoints in our community, and all must be considered and respected.

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