Ralph Tyler introduced four Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction in 1949:
- What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
- What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?
- How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?
- How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?
This was the first time I had ever heard about this rationale. However, I can now see that it was used throughout my K-12 schooling. Most of the tasks that were for marks were tests. I was lucky that I could memorize content, but not when it came to after the test, as retention was not my strength. Mathematics is my minor, and today while my professor was talking, everything clicked for me. Math is 100% based off of the Tyler rationale. Math is very black and white. You either get the right answer or the wrong answer. We have been talking about a highly controversial idea from our textbook, “Mathematical Mindsets” by Jo Boaler. What if we gave marks for the wrong answer? (Boaler, 2016) That would be going completely against this rationale, but perhaps that is what our schooling and curriculum needs.
When students write a test, they are often only memorizing the information, and after the test, they forget a majority of the content. They can’t comprehend the outcomes they have been taught which will not allow them to learn when they get to higher levels of education. Memorizing makes it impossible for students to connect what they are learning to their community, self and others, which is an integral piece of curriculum today. This rationale takes the creativity out of the students since it is looking for a cut and dry answer or response. It makes it impossible for students to show what they truly know if they aren’t ‘good’ at writing tests.
This rationale is catered to students who are good at memorizing and taking tests. Tests are quick and can attain instant results. The article says, “The teacher is an operative, or factory worker” (Schiro, 2013; p.65). I’ve never thought of a teacher being referred to as a factory worker. I felt insulted as I read that. I believe the goal of education is for students to learn, but to also become a better person and be prepared for their futures in their adult years.
Teachers make tests for the students to essentially ‘puke’ out the information, in hopes of them getting a good mark. It is clear to me that the ways of teaching in 1949, are not up to the standard of what we should be teaching now in the 21st Century.