Hidden Issues In Curriculums

Even today, there is still a heavy existence of the Tyler rationale in the North American education system, reflected in the curriculum. After all, Ralph Tyler is known as the “Father of Assessment and Evaluation” and had a major role in the development of standardized testing, which is still present and highly valued, specifically in America.

Throughout my schooling, especially in the earlier years of my life, there was never much diversity present in my classrooms. This was not due to the teacher’s I had, but rather to the way I was being taught and the curriculum that was in place. I was limited by the textbooks used in class, for as I now understand, they were influenced by European values and often based on narrow-minded opinions, not at all including different cultural perspectives or representing other cultural identities. I was never taught to critically analyze the material I was learning or the sources it was coming from. The curriculum was never questioned, and the same methods of teaching were used repeatedly.

It was not until I reached university that I was exposed to exploring and learning about different points of view and various cultures and religions. My eyes were opened to a whole new perspective on life, and I could not believe I had never been taught these things before. I learned that being “successful” in the “modern” world did not mean the same thing for everyone, and that it is extremely unrealistic to assume everyone needs to learn the same things at the same rate—something that the curriculum often assumes.

Some of the major limitations of the Tyler rationale are that it almost completely lacks diversity. It assumes that all people are the same and want the same goals/outcomes out of life. It assumes people all have the same definition of what it means to be “successful” and it drastically limits anyone who cannot meet a required outcome or who takes a different approach to learning.

In saying this, I am definitely not suggesting every educational system is this way, and that the way I was taught in school is wrong. There were evidently negative aspects to my education, but a lot has changed since then, and I believe now more than ever, diversity is being not only encouraged, but supported in schools and in the curriculum.

It is important to have a curriculum as it act as guidelines for teachers to follow. However, the curriculum still needs to be adjusted in a way that is better suited to meet the needs of our diverse communities, and that works to encourage individual uniqueness and differences instead of excluding it.

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2 thoughts on “Hidden Issues In Curriculums

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more about the Tyler Rationale not being diversified enough. By assuming everyone is the same we definitely take away from a lot of learning opportunities that some students need! Very well said!

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