Tyler Model of Curriculum Development, Strengths & Weaknesses

If you have been searching for a note on the Tyler Model of Curriculum Development, then look no further; this article contains the necessary information you may need, which includes the four key elements of Tyler’s curriculum development, its strengths and weaknesses, among others.

In one of our previous articles, we looked at the Wheeler Model of Curriculum Development. We once differentiated and looked at the similarities between the three models of curriculum – Taba, Tyler and Wheeler’s. But today we focus on Tyler’s Model of Curriculum.

Ralph Tyler, in one of his books titled “Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction,” asked four important questions that should be answered in the development of a curriculum and a plan for instruction. In the following section, we’ll look at the four fundamental questions raised by Ralph Tyler.

Tyler Four Questions of Curriculum

These are the four questions suggested by Tyler that teachers or school administrators must answer whenever they are planning to teach.

  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 all these educational experiences be effectively organized?
  4. How do we determine if these purposes are being attained?

Ralph W. Tyler is the pioneer of the objective model of curriculum development. He defined “curriculum” as all the learning of students that is planned and directed by the school to achieve its educational goals.

The Tyler Model (1949–1963), which is also known as the Tyler Rationale, is a model of curriculum development that was established by Tyler. It is focused on the idea that the purpose of education is to uplift learning that is useful as well as meaningful to learners.

Tyler Curriculum Model

Tyler’s 4 Steps in Curriculum Development

Using the four fundamental questions highlighted above as a logical sequence for planning, Tyler created a linear model known as Tyler’s objectives model. His model consists of four steps, which include:

1. Identifying objectives

Ralph Tyler suggested a process of developing learning objectives that takes into account studies of the learners, which include life experiences, developmental factors, learner interests, the values and aims of society, etc. He believes that his process would be able to guide teachers regardless of their differing outlooks on teaching and learning.

Tyler felt that all objectives needed to be consistent with the philosophy of the school, and this is usually neglected in curriculum development. He was interested in how learning related to the issues of society and believed studies of contemporary life provided information for learning objectives. Tyler defines the learning objectives in terms of communication skills, knowledge, quantitative skills, and analytical skills, among others.

2. Selecting or identifying learning activities for meeting the defined objectives

Ralph Tyler proposed a method of developing objectives that gives educators some discretionary space and as well provides a framework for developing learning experiences that align to both content development and skill component. He laid down a set of general principles that should guide the development of learning experiences.

Tyler posits that educators can control the learning experience through the manipulation of the environment, resulting in stimulating situations that propel the desired kind of learning outcomes from learners.

3. Organizing learning experiences

Tyler believes three major criteria are required in building organized learning experiences: continuity, sequence, and integration. Students need concrete experiences with which the readings are meaningfully connected. Tyler discussed the process of organizing learning experiences to support each other and build upon each other’s experiences to develop long-term impact. That’s why he proposed the three main criteria.

4. Evaluating and assessing the learning experiences.

The last element in the Tyler model is to evaluate the effectiveness of learning experiences. He proposed a variety of appraisal tools that were relevant to the purposes of instruction. Tyler also did recommend that evaluation ought to occur both before, during, and at the end of instruction, including looking at the long term effects of learning in order to determine if learning has a lasting effect or impact.

Ralph Tyler defined curriculum evaluation as the process of matching initial expectations in the form of behavioral objectives with outcomes achieved by the learner. He stated that all evaluations must be guided by a purpose and sensitive to the uniqueness of the individual being assessed.

Ralph Tyler’s model gives the impression that the curriculum process simply starts with defining the objectives of the learning experience and ends with evaluating and assessing the learning experience. Tyler stated that the curriculum must begin with the identification of objectives, which will serve as a guide for the determination of other components of the curriculum.

In summary, Tyler’s first step in curriculum development is to define the goals and objectives of the curriculum, which should be based on the needs and interests of the students as well as the goals of the educational program. While the second step is selecting or identifying learning activities for meeting the defined objectives.

Tyler’s third step includes organizing learning experiences. His final step, which is evaluation, is to evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum, which may involve gathering feedback from teachers and students and using this information to make changes to the curriculum. He recommends that evaluation ought to occur before, during, and at the end of instruction.

Strengths and weaknesses of Tyler’s curriculum model

We shall look separately at the Strengths and Weaknesses of Tyler’s curriculum model.

Strengths of Tyler’s curriculum model

  1. It has the ability to engage and motivate learners.
  2. It has the ability to promote deep understanding and the transfer of learning.
  3. It has flexibility and adaptability to different teaching and learning contexts.
  4. It involves the active participation of the learner.
  5. It aims at students’ developing behaviors as its target of teaching.
  6. Tyler’s objective model is especially applicable in evaluating tightly focused programmes that have supportable and clear objectives.
  7. His objective model is the best choice if the evaluator wants to identify the level at which the program meets its desired objectives.
  8. Tyler’s model is used to define objectives for the new curricula and assess the degree to which the objectives are realized later.
  9. His model helps to avoid the subjectivity of the professional judgment or accreditation approach.

Weaknesses of Tyler’s Rational Linear Model

  1. Tyler’s model has been criticized for flaws in terms of the reality of curriculum development.
  2. Tyler’s rationale model overlooks the unpredictable nature of teaching and
  3. The educational objectives should not precede the selection and organization of learning experiences.
  4. The proponents of Tyler’s rational model have been criticized for not properly explaining the sources of its objective.
  5. Tyler’s model limits what students can learn.
  6. The model fails to recognize that the future cannot be predicted with precision.
  7. The division of labor at the various steps is fixed, so “curriculum actors” are unaware of what others do.
  8. It also can’t account for the many outcomes of learning.
  9. Tyler’s objectives model can only be utilized if the program has clear objectives.
  10. The model does not provide a feedback mechanism to tell stakeholders or evaluators how to deal with improvements.
  11. The evaluation focusing on behavior fails to evaluate objectives.
  12. The objectives do not apply to all subjects or the design of a subject’s content.
  13. The objectives of the program or projects aren’t always stable, and they can be manipulated to suit the context of the program’s implementation.
  14. Any educational program with unclearly defined objectives can’t be evaluated using Ralph Tyler’s objective model of curriculum.
  15. Tyler’s model is difficult and time consuming to construct these objectives.
  16. It’s too restrictive and covers a small range of students’ skills and knowledge.
  17. Tyler’s model has been criticized for being too student-centred and doesn’t give educators the privilege to manipulate the learning experiences as they see fit to evoke the kind of learning outcome desired.

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