Writing Prompt: Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. Can you think about: (a) The ways in which you may have experience the Tyler rationale in your own schooling? (b) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale? (c) What are some potential benefits?

Tyler’s rationale was present throughout my schooling, but it wasn’t always evident. On occasion we were given the option of choosing how we wanted to explain/present a certain topic either through video, oral presentation, activities, etc., but for the most part we followed three simple steps: 1. Lecture 2. Practice. 3. Assessment. We see that Tyler’s rationale is mostly teacher-centered as opposed to being student-centered, and there were many times throughout my schooling where that was evident. There were times when a teacher would write on the board what we were going to learn that day then we would be taught it, and then we would move on to the next topic. We were supposed to understand the topic completely so if we didn’t we were hardly given extra help. After learning about Tyler’s rationale, I believe the reason that we weren’t taught through the inquiry approach was because my teachers were following a model that wasn’t student-centered.

Tyler’s rationale is based on four fundamental questions:

      1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
      2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?
      3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
      4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?

Based on these four fundamental questions we can see that there are some major limitations and that there is important stuff missing in this model. As I have stated earlier, Tyler’s rationale is teacher based as opposed to being student-centered which makes it hard for the teachers to be responsive to the students learning styles. Since the model is so structured and has a specific vision of the students, it doesn’t allow room for the students to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. This model also doesn’t take into account the community surrounding the school because the way you would teach in a rural setting would be completely different than the way you would teach in an urban setting, which implies that we can’t follow one specific model.

However, there are some potential benefits to Tyler’s rationale. For new teachers, this model would be beneficial because it gives them a strict set of guidelines to follow and it provides direction which could help them relieve some stress. It also allows the teacher to be in charge which would make them more comfortable in the classroom setting. The students could be performing a task or working on an activity, but it’s always the teacher’s directions that are being followed, which I believe helps the teacher gain confidence in the classroom setting because they know it is their rules being implemented. As we all know, curriculum is very complex and is hard to understand, but Tyler’s rationale simplifies it into four simple steps which I think is very helpful. Of course there is a lot missing, but he summarizes some main ideas which helps me gain a better understanding of the curriculum.  

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