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The Four Steps of Curriculum Development

"The Tyler Rationale"
Tyler headed the evaluation staff of the "Eight-Year Study" (1933-1941), a national program,
involving 30 secondary schools and 300 colleges and universities, that addressed narrowness and
rigidity in high school curricula. A decade after completing his work with the Eight-Year Study,
Tyler formalized his thoughts on viewing, analyzing and interpreting the curriculum and
instructional program of an educational institution in Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction
(1949). This book was a bestseller and has since been reprinted in 36 editions, shaping curriculum
and instructional design to this day. The book laid out a deceptively simple structure for delivering
and evaluating instruction consisting of four parts that became known as the Tyler Rationale:
1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? (Defining appropriate
learning objectives.)
2. How can learning experiences be selected which are likely to be useful in attaining
these objectives? (Introducing useful learning experiences.)
3. How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction? (Organizing
experiences to maximize their effect.)
4. How can the effectiveness of learning experiences be evaluated? (Evaluating the
process and revising the areas that were not effective.)
In this book, Tyler describes learning as taking place through the action of the student. "It is what
he does that he learns, not what the teacher does" (Tyler, p. 63).
#1: What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?
What Aims, Goals, and Objectives should be sought? Educational objectives become the criteria for
selecting materials, content outlined, instructional methods developed, and tests prepared.
2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?
Criteria for selecting experiences; are they ......................

Valid in light of the ways in which knowledge and skills will be applied in out-of-school

unified view of things.refers to the vertical reiteration of major curricular elements. staff expertise. • Most institutionalized education is MASS education: we want to be able to teach GROUPS instead of individuals. horizontal organization • Continuity . Solving problems in arithmetic as well as in other disciplines. community expectations? • Optimal in terms of students' learning the content? • Capable of allowing students to develop their thinking skills and rational powers? • Capable of stimulating in students greater understanding of their own existence as individuals and as members of groups? • Capable of fostering in students an openness to new experiences and a tolerance for diversity? • Such that they will facilitate learning and motivate students to continue learning? • Capable of allowing students to address their needs? • Such that students can broaden their interests? • Such that they will foster the total development of students in cognitive. Sequence emphasizes higher levels of treatment. and spiritual domains? 3.refers to experiences built upon preceding curricular elements but in more breadth and detail. How can the educational experiences be organized? • Education experiences must be organized to reinforce each other. reading social studies materials continued up through higher grades • Sequence . social. (This is based upon the notion that WORKERS will have higher productivity if they do the same thing over and over again.• Feasible in terms of time. • Most education is DEPARTMENTALIZED.) . • Vertical vs. • Integration . psychomotor. related to the "social efficiency" theories of Frederick Taylor. because we expect someone trained in a specific topic to be more likely to be able to teach that topic. For example. facilities available within and outside of the school. affective. • We aim for educational effectiveness and EFFICIENCY.

level.e. and assigning a value (i. Assessment. Dimension of Difference Assessment Evaluation Content: timing. or otherwise demonstrate their learning. Evaluation . These judgments are made in relation to the achievement of curriculum and program goals. Assessment is the systematic process of collecting information or evidence about student learning. Summative assessments are counted toward the student's final mark. Summative assessments at the end of units and a course give students an opportunity to synthesize. 2. letter grade. (There is some evidence that this is not the best way to teach--that students are more likely to learn if specific skills or topics are introduced first. primary purpose Formative: ongoing.• Generally.) 4. and from most general to more specific. to gauge quality Orientation: focus of measurement Process-oriented: how learning is going Product-oriented: what’s been learned Findings: uses thereof Diagnostic: identify areas for improvement Judgmental: arrive at an overall grade/score .the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established criteria. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? DEFINITIONS 1. or numerical mark) to represent that quality. apply. Formative assessment provides information to students.. and expectations and outcomes. as they are learning and refining their skills.the process of gathering information from a variety of sources that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving the curriculum expectations. to improve learning Summative: final. using information gathered by a variety of assessment tools. Evaluation is the judgment teachers make about the assessments of student learning based on established criteria. Diagnostic assessment is used at the beginning of a unit to help determine a starting point for instruction. we arrange educational experiences from easiest to hardest.

and teachers with valid information concerning student progress and their attainment of the expected curriculum/IEP. One could look at assessment and evaluation as the journey (assessment) versus the snapshot (evaluation). Assessment requires the gathering of evidence of student performance over a period of time to measure learning and understanding. This image summarizes the steps of the Tyler Model. Assessment should always be viewed as information to improve student achievement. Assessment provides students. journals. Although a child may receive high marks in spelling test. written work. the high spelling test marks (evaluations) matter little. test. Assessment would be a review of journal entries. exams etc. presentation.What's the Difference between Assessment. tests along with many other learning tasks. Evaluation and Final Marks or Report Card Grades? The overall goal of assessment is to improve student learning. story writing. written work. . tests. research papers. Assessment and evaluation measure whether or not learning and/or learning objectives are being met. and will demonstrate a sense of more permanent learning and clearer picture of a student's ability. Evidence of learning could take the form of dialogue. quiz. portfolios. A mark on a spelling test will determine if the child can spell the given words and would be seen as an evaluation. essays. if he/she can't apply correct spelling in every day work. Evaluation on the other hand occurs when a mark is assigned after the completion of a task. parents/guardians. lesson or learning activity.