Throughout my years of schooling, the Tyler Rationale was highly prevalent within curriculum. Often times, teachers merely aimed to cover mandatory content within learning objectives and moved on once done so. Many classes I sat through in high school (History and Math) consisted of the teacher talking and the students listening. During these classes, I sat quietly with so many questions I was too scared to ask my teacher; it is ‘commonsense,’ right?
Although many of my teachers were more focused on the curriculum than the student’s learning, some of my teachers involved students during class. They enjoyed hearing our thoughts in group discussions and how they could improve to meet the needs of all students better than previously. After reading Curriculum Theory and Practice, I can connect information from the reading to my experiences, as classes and teachers I enjoyed more than others was because of the approach they took to teach curriculum. My English and Science teachers took different approaches to learning and taught curriculum as a process, that allowed class discourse and positive teacher-student interactions.
The Tyler Rationale can be limiting when students’ and teachers’ beliefs are not symmetrical. When this occurs, students can be marginalized because of their unique views, making the classroom a difficult space to learn. Furthermore, this negative space creates a hierarchy that implies educators are more powerful and meaningful than students. This ties into Kimashiro’s article regarding ‘commonsense’, as it has become tradition for teachers to dominate students within the education system.
Possible benefits of the Tyler Rationale is that it poses good questions concerning education; these guidelines can ensure the teacher stays on track of their potential goals for purposeful learning to take place. These questions tend to have different answers, depending on the teacher, so even though many educators may be using Tyler’s Rationale, their answers will vary and affect their teaching differently. Generally, Tyler’s Rationale does not allow much room for diversity, however, Tyler’s questions regarding education can incorporate inclusiveness and diversity. Depending on the answers educators develop from Tyler’s questions, students can be instructed using appropriate, collaborative approaches that include all students, while still covering important curriculum content.
From my previous school experiences, I have been in situations that have helped me connect with the kind of teacher I want to be and the positive traits I hope to have. As a future teacher, I believe that curriculum is an important set of guidelines to follow, however, too much structure restricts students from freedom and exploration within learning. Teachers are responsible for supporting students through effective, inclusive approaches that they can engage with. Students should want to learn and be enthusiastic about expanding on their knowledge, and as teachers, we must understand that this willingness and enthusiasm does not come from the curriculum, it comes from within.