As a teacher it is important to look at what you are teaching and ask “why”. There are times that your schedule gets busy or the students are not learning at a desired rate but it is important to realize that it is better if the students truly understand one concept rather than only knowing parts of multiple concepts. I believe that it would be a helpful when making lessons to look at Tyler’s fundamentals to see if you are successfully teaching your students.
I find that teachers often understand the purpose of a lesson, but that purpose is not always shown to the students, and in turn the students become less interested. Within my education math courses, I have learned the importance of allowing students to discover their own learning through activities rather than “having the instructor perform certain activities” (Tyler 1949: 44). It is important that the students are engaged in what they are learning and have a chance to discover parts of it by themselves. Students need the time to internalize and understand the material.
Within my placement school I found that the teacher had the outcomes the class was working on listed on the board. This allowed the students to see what they were working towards and what the expectations were. Within my classroom I would like to expand this and add what activities we will be doing to learn each outcome. I will also try to talk to my students to see if my teaching is effective. Having exemplars of the work helps the students to identify what they need to strive for.
Growing up many of my assessment mirrored the shopping list style. If a student was able to solve one question on one assignment, it meant that they were capable of solving any question using those same principals. This is just not true, as even people who are trained and certified in certain areas still make mistakes but they are able to find those mistakes afterwards because they full understand the concept. This was also common in high school were a unit would be taught and tested at the beginning of the year, but also tested at the final even though the concept was not use since the original testing. If we truly understood the concept, the final should be easy, but if we can just do the shopping list, the final would be much more difficult. A professor once referred to this type of teaching as “covering the content” rather than seeing and understanding the concepts.
The limitation I found within the four fundamentals and other areas of Tyler’s rationale is the difficultly to assess students who are not part of the classroom majority. If a school or classroom is trying to get each student to read at grade level, what happens to the students who are reading above grade level, as they are no longer challenged. There is no true way to know if the educational purposes will be attained, especially since educational purposes will have to change as society changes.
The educational purpose of Saskatchewan education is based around becoming lifelong learners. To create educational experiences Saskatchewan tries to encourage both learning in the classroom but also learning from a professional in certain fields. By introducing both new material and reviewing previous material it allows students to find areas that they enjoy. If students are asking questions and researching independently, it shows that the purpose of education is being attained.
Tyler’s four fundamentals
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? (Tyler 1949: 1)
Smith. (n.d.). Theory and Practice in Curriculum
Tyler, R. W. (1949) Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction , Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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/what does it make impossible? (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.