Curriculum Theory and Practice

It has been super interesting to learn about the history of curriculum and how it has changed over the years. Thinking back to my years in school, I can see the Tyler rationale happening in my art classes. The teacher would give instructions on how to create a piece of art. As students, we would have to carefully follow to rules and all produce the exact same product in the end. If we strayed from the instructions and added our own self expression, we would not be graded highly. I remember an assignment where I coloured in some objects in a way I thought looked really cool and I was pleased with my work. My teacher however, was not and told me that I did not follow the rules of the assignment.

The Tyler rationale creates major limitations in the classroom. This theory is basically saying that classrooms are flat 2 dimensional spaces that are easily predicted and never change. If you have ever been in a classroom you know this is not true at all. Classrooms are diverse and changing and the curriculum must reflect that. Tyler’s rationale will benefit the few students that fall in that category of learning. However, those that learn differently or do not fit in “the mold” will greatly suffer. In the article Smith states,

The problem here is that such programmes inevitably exist prior to and outside the learning experiences. This takes much away from learners. They can end up
with little or no voice.

Each student is unique and brings different experiences and perspectives with them into the classroom. Some students may come from affluent families, some in poverty. Some students are learning English, some students may struggle with ADHD. There are so many different elements to learning that the Tyler rationale does not address.

I think the Tyler rationale benefits the teachers and those students that fit in with that certain way of learning. The teacher only has to worry about one curriculum and outcome even if it does not suit all the students. This may be simpler and more ‘efficient’ but does not serve the classroom as a whole. I honestly can’t think of any other benefits to the rationale as it is outdated, ineffective and does not give all students the same opportunity to succeed.

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