Week 2- January 13th

Respond in your blog to the following writing prompt: 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 experience 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.

The Tyler rationale has been used in my schooling as there has always been an implied importance on reaching specific objectives in lieu of promoting meaningful learning. Even through the teacher’s education program, the suggested formulas for backwards design follow the 7- step procedure on the fourth page of the Smith reading. Through my education with the older Saskatchewan curriculum, there are evidently specific content as well as skills goals which have been determined to be important by veteran teachers and the provincial government. I think in my experience in creating unit plans using the Histoire 20 curriculum document, there are specific goals which need to be reached in order for someone to have mastered the content. There is not much insistence on critical thinking and opinion production, but almost a form of cultural transmission.

Tyler’s rational makes it difficult, if not impossible to promote inquiry driven learning and evoke intrinsic motivation. It creates cookie-cutter classrooms that consistently deal with the same issues, and pursue these issues in the same way. Differentiation within this context is frowned upon, and adaptations based on the make-up of classrooms are discouraged. As was said in lecture, Tyler ignores the classroom context, which discourages alternative forms of knowledge and issues which are more relevant to the student’s reality.

Some potential benefits, as mentioned in the reading on page 8 is that there is a degree of uniformity across content offered to students. This enables ministries and governments to produce standardized testing and public examinations which can be seen as a tool for comparing and contrasting educational institutions. Though, it is inherently problematic and there are issues surrounding what the data is used for in these examinations. Tyler’s approach makes it possible for students to have success in their educational endeavors and evaluations without thoughtful learning. They are able to be successful through memorize content, facts, dates, processes, and behaviors without examining the underlying context or implications of the content. As mentioned in the article on page 9, it is also easier for teachers to use this approach than the process model because everything has already been predetermined.

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