Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Tyler through the Lenses of Liberation Philosophy and Psychology: Implications for Teacher Education

Abstract

In 1949 Ralph Tyler released his book “Basic Principles of curriculumand instruction” (1949/2013) . It contained what became known as the “Tyler Rationale”. He described his book as “one way of viewing an instructional program as a functioning instrument of education” (p. 1). His book could have gone the way of so many hundreds or thousands of other texts on education but it didn’t, rather it became a seminal text of curriculum development. The Tyler rationale is based on answering four questions. They are: 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 organised? And 4) How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? As a curriculum theorist it’s hard for me to argue that these are indeed important questions. This is no doubt, one reason why the Tyler rationale, an example of pragmatic curriculum, (Null, 2011) has been and arguably continues to be one of the more dominant models of curriculum development. Unfortunately, Tyler’s fourth question, and his background in behavioural science, were seized upon by the education we facilitate has a positive effect. This incongruity stands out for me because Tyler himself believed that the curriculum development process should start at the local level. Further he identifies four sources of, what we would now call, data that should inform the curriculum. Those sources are the learners themselves, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter. Tyler placed these sources in relation to one another rather than in competition to each other, something else that has often been lost in Tyler-influenced curriculum development over the years, but that reflects Schwab’s commonplaces (1969) of twenty years later. The other thing that stands out for me is Tyler’s assertion that once learning objectives have been determined they should be reviewed through the lens of philosophy and psychology. At the time, these would have both been influenced by behaviourism.

In this paper, I will explore the Tyler rationale as a model for curriculum development in initial teacher education, considering the learners, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter as I see it in North America today and considering the lenses of liberation philosophy and psychology as a way to shift the Tyler rational from the transmission and transactional approach to curriculum development it has become (Miller & Seller, 1985) to one of transformation.

Presentation Description

In 1949 Ralph Tyler released his book “Basic Principles of curriculumand instruction” (1949/2013) . It contained what became known as the “Tyler Rationale”. He described his book as “one way of viewing an instructional program as a functioning instrument of education” (p. 1). His book could have gone the way of so many hundreds or thousands of other texts on education but it didn’t, rather it became a seminal text of curriculum development. The Tyler rationale is based on answering four questions. They are: 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 organised? And 4) How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? As a curriculum theorist it’s hard for me to argue that these are indeed important questions. This is no doubt, one reason why the Tyler rationale, an example of pragmatic curriculum, (Null, 2011) has been and arguably continues to be one of the more dominant models of curriculum development. Unfortunately, Tyler’s fourth question, and his background in behavioural science, were seized upon by the education we facilitate has a positive effect. This incongruity stands out for me because Tyler himself believed that the curriculum development process should start at the local level. Further he identifies four sources of, what we would now call, data that should inform the curriculum. Those sources are the learners themselves, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter. Tyler placed these sources in relation to one another rather than in competition to each other, something else that has often been lost in Tyler-influenced curriculum development over the years, but that reflects Schwab’s commonplaces (1969) of twenty years later. The other thing that stands out for me is Tyler’s assertion that once learning objectives have been determined they should be reviewed through the lens of philosophy and psychology. At the time, these would have both been influenced by behaviourism. In this paper, I will explore the Tyler rationale as a model for curriculum development in initial teacher education, considering the learners, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter as I see it in North America today and considering the lenses of liberation philosophy and psychology as a way to shift the Tyler rational from the transmission and transactional approach to curriculum development it has become (Miller & Seller, 1985) to one of transformation.

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Stream C: Curriculum Dialogues

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Tyler through the Lenses of Liberation Philosophy and Psychology: Implications for Teacher Education

Stream C: Curriculum Dialogues

In 1949 Ralph Tyler released his book “Basic Principles of curriculumand instruction” (1949/2013) . It contained what became known as the “Tyler Rationale”. He described his book as “one way of viewing an instructional program as a functioning instrument of education” (p. 1). His book could have gone the way of so many hundreds or thousands of other texts on education but it didn’t, rather it became a seminal text of curriculum development. The Tyler rationale is based on answering four questions. They are: 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 organised? And 4) How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? As a curriculum theorist it’s hard for me to argue that these are indeed important questions. This is no doubt, one reason why the Tyler rationale, an example of pragmatic curriculum, (Null, 2011) has been and arguably continues to be one of the more dominant models of curriculum development. Unfortunately, Tyler’s fourth question, and his background in behavioural science, were seized upon by the education we facilitate has a positive effect. This incongruity stands out for me because Tyler himself believed that the curriculum development process should start at the local level. Further he identifies four sources of, what we would now call, data that should inform the curriculum. Those sources are the learners themselves, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter. Tyler placed these sources in relation to one another rather than in competition to each other, something else that has often been lost in Tyler-influenced curriculum development over the years, but that reflects Schwab’s commonplaces (1969) of twenty years later. The other thing that stands out for me is Tyler’s assertion that once learning objectives have been determined they should be reviewed through the lens of philosophy and psychology. At the time, these would have both been influenced by behaviourism.

In this paper, I will explore the Tyler rationale as a model for curriculum development in initial teacher education, considering the learners, societal issues, educational values, and subject matter as I see it in North America today and considering the lenses of liberation philosophy and psychology as a way to shift the Tyler rational from the transmission and transactional approach to curriculum development it has become (Miller & Seller, 1985) to one of transformation.