Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. And there are ways in which I have experienced Ralph W. Tyler’s rationale in my own schooling because I have been evaluated by tests and exams all the way through my schooling experience. Tyler’s hope was that by evaluating students’ learning experience, the teachers would be able to know how much the students were learning and remembering. Tyler wanted to know how effective the teachers were teaching and how well the students were learning, so when the results were in, they could revise the areas that were not as effective for the students to retain the knowledge that the teachers were presenting.
Tyler’s rationale was limited and criticized for being overtly managerial and linear in its position on the school curriculum. Some critics have characterized it as outdated and a theoretical, suitable only to administrators keen on controlling the school curriculum in ways that are unresponsive to teachers and learners. The most well-known criticism of the rationale makes the argument that the rationale is historically wedded to social efficiency traditions.
Though there are critics and against Tyler’s rationale, there are also some benefits to his rationale. For example, his rationale supports educators in identifying the important goals and objectives for each course. Whether you are beginning to develop curriculum or you are revising existing documents, the answers to Tyler’s questions will provide yourself with purpose and direction. Tyler’s rationale questions define appropriate learning objectives, introduces useful learning experiences, organizing experiences to maximize their effect and help to evaluate the processes being used to teach and revise the areas that were not effective.