Ralph Tyler’s Curriculum Model

Ralph Tyler’s curriculum model is quite simple consisting of only four steps:

  1. Determine the objectives.
  2. Identify educational experiences related to purpose
  3. Organize the experiences
  4. Evaluate the objectives.

The ways in which I may have experienced the Tyler rationale in my own schooling are:

  • To evoke the kind of behavior/learning required to meet the set objectives, we would learn background knowledge followed by a hands-on activity, listen to a guest speaker or go on a field trip. (Tyler’s Step 2 and 3)
  • In an effort to expand our knowledge, many of my teachers utilized what we already knew in an effort to help teach new concepts, etc. (Tyler’s Step 2 and 3)
  • Both formative and summative evaluation was used to ensure understanding of the set objectives.

Some major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible are:

  • The teacher is the manager of what is taught with little or no students input.
  • Teachers are not to question the curriculum. Responsible for ensuring that they are teaching to the objectives and evaluating that they have been met.
  • Teachers do not have any input in process of designing the curriculum.
  • The idea of management (teaching) is to ensure that learning is efficient and the students’ behaviors change in a short amount of time. Reduces the opportunity of branching out or exploring other topics.
  • The article states, “Teaching is evaluated in terms of both student achievement and the efficiency with which the teacher produces student achievement rather than in terms of how humane, creative, enlightening, or insightful it is” (Schiro, 2013, p. 94). Always having to worry about the end result often makes it impossible for teachers to try a variety of teaching methods or to teach how and what they, and their students, are truly passionate about.

Some potential benefits/what is made possible are:

  • Programed curriculum consists of a “sequenced set of learning experiences, each representing a behavior to be learned” (Schiro, 2013, p. 61). This ensures that ideally each student learns the necessary objectives/ behaviors at the correct time meeting the requirements to move onto other learnings/move up a grade.
  • Not all students have the same needs or will benefit from the same prescribed objectives.

The chart that was shown in lecture puts Tyler’s model into perspective and how each step relies upon the previous step being completed. Therefore, putting into perspective how our Education system is similar today as it was in the 1900’s. Learning this information made me reflect on the question, is the Education system moving forward or backwards?


Schiro, M. (2013). Curriculum theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns (2nd ed.)






One thought on “Ralph Tyler’s Curriculum Model

  1. Hello Laura,
    this was a really interesting read and I think you summarized the Tyler rationale quite well. I especially liked your final insight “is the Education system moving forward?”. It’s hard to consider that as a possibility when so much of the original structure remains unaltered. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

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