The ways in which you may have experienced the Tyler rationale in your own schooling
I attended school in Regina from kindergarten until grade 12. Through my schooling journey, I believe I experienced many aspects that coincided with the Tyler rationale. First of all, the education that I experienced was heavily based on what the teachers thought we needed to learn, and it was taught to us in only one way- the way they determined we should be learning it. There was very little adaptations or differentiation for students who maybe were struggling, or students who could have used some more advanced work. The education that I experienced was very much cookie cutter education.
Additionally, our instruction was mostly from work sheets, reading off an overhead, and taking tests. If a student struggled with learning through taking notes and taking tests, they were often left struggling with little to no extra support. Whether we succeeded or didn’t was based on if we passed tests, and the rest of learning that we demonstrated through the class was not weighted nearly as heavily.
What are the major limitations of the Tyler rational/what does it make impossible?
I believe there are many limitations with the Tyler rationale, many of which were identified in Smith’s (2000) article. First, too much importance is placed on the plan (or the programme) for how teachers reach a certain outcome. This plan or programme that Tyler places so much importance on is only one way to reach a destination. It does not take into account how students learn differently, or how there can be many paths that lead to the same outcome. In this way, students end up with little to no voice. Like I mentioned above, and like I experienced in my own education, students are told what to learn and how to learn it. Individuality is not accounted for with Tyler’s rationale.
The next issue that I would like to address is that success or failure is determined by predetermined changes in behaviour. These behaviour changes are decided on outside of the classroom and before student’s personalities, strengths, and weaknesses are taken into account. In this way, there is limited opportunity for teachers to make use of interactions with students. With the curriculum and outcomes being designed outside of the classroom, and with one programme designed, Tyler’s rationale is intended to be “teacher proof.”
The next major issue that I can identify with this rationale is that too much heaviness is placed on measurability, and that it implies that behaviours can be measured objectively. This does not account for curriculum that is not intended to be taught and behaviours that perhaps cannot be measured objectively. Students are not machines and when each little behaviour is measured like a list with check boxes, the big picture can be missed.
What are some potential benefits/what is made possible?
In contrast to the disadvantages of the Tyler approach, it does come with some possible benefits as well. The Tyler rationale is a nicely ordered procedure that is systematic and well organized. This approach has clear behavioural objectives which teachers can go off of to formulate a plan of instruction, including organizing content, methods plan for evaluation.
I could see this method being a nice starting place for new teachers to then adapt after getting to know their students better.