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Ralph W. Tyler's Basic Principles Of Curriculum And Instruction

842 words - 4 pages

In 1949, a small book had a big impact on education. In just over one hundred pages, Ralph W. Tyler presented the concept that curriculum should be dynamic, a program under constant evaluation and revision. Curriculum had always been thought of as a static, set program, and in an era preoccupied with student testing, he offered the innovative idea that teachers and administrators should spend as much time evaluating their plans as they do assessing their students.

Since then, Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction has been a standard reference for anyone working with curriculum development. Although not a strict how-to guide, the book shows how educators can critically approach ...view middle of the document...

Tyler suggested when developing curriculum, objectives data should be gathered from three sources, namely; the learner, society, and subject matter. Resulting from this, are specific instructional objectives which state the kind of outcomes that are observable and measurable. The next step is the selection of educational experiences which enable the attainment of the stipulated objectives. Tyler talked about the organization and sequencing of these learning experiences. He emphasized that the experiences should be properly organized so as to enhance learning and suggested that ideas, concept, values and skills be used as organizing elements woven into the curriculum. Finally, Tyler proposed that evaluation should be an important part of the curriculum development process. It was necessary for educators to know whether the selected learning experiences produced the intended results.
There is no denying that Tyler’s thinking has greatly influenced the field of curriculum, especially curriculum development. The four questions that he raised had and still have great appeal because it is very reasonable and workable. The prevalence of this approach is due to its systematic nature and considerable organizing power.
However, there has been concern over the mindset of teaching and learning on which this approach is based: a linear-technical conception of teaching and learning that undermines the dynamic, unpredictable nature of human interaction and personal growth. It is important to note that learning in school is more complex and organic than this model is able to describe.
In this traditional approach to curriculum, someone other than the student controls what is taught. The mandated curriculum is predetermined...

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