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This weekly assignment is being submitted on January 27th, 2019 for Dr. Elizabeth Jakubowski EDG 6221 Curricular Theory. I think in order for the educators, especially curriculum designers, to design an effective and strong curriculum, it is really important for all of them to take a look at Tyler’s “Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction”. Originally published in 1949, Ralph W. Tyler’s concise text continues to have an impact on the field of education. I personally found Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction to be largely relevant today, as Tyler reminds us that curriculum should be organic, forever changing to fit the needs of our students and current society, and continuously under revision in hopes to improve the educational experiences for all students.
Although Tyler outlines the basic principles of the curriculum by identifying four crucial questions, he remarks that “no attempt is made to answer these questions since the answers will vary to some extent from one level of education to another and one school to another” (p.
73). Therefore, the principles may be viewed as a starting point in curriculum development rather than a rigid guide. This distinctive approach that Tyler takes on curriculum development is likely to be refreshing to all teachers, as teachers are able to go creatively beyond the basics and fit the principles to each of their unique situations and students.
Throughout the reading, I imagine Tyler speaking to all teachers, principals, district leaders, and policymakers today. In the midst of the Common Core State Standards movement, we may look to the basic principles as not only a guide, but also as a reminder to examine our education goals and to empower teachers to use their judgment, experience, and knowledge to make crucial decisions in order to provide an educative experience for all students. The ideas and instruction found in this chapter really empower the teacher to take charge of the process. Looking at the needs of her/his learners, the teacher is responsible for curriculum development. Basing choices on competing philosophies and strategies, the learner is always the one under the telescope in the process. On the other hand, Popham’s aim is to create a guideline through which the educational evaluators can create and select educational objectives. In other words, Popham believes that objectives of worth are objectives which can be assessed and quantified. This reminds me of a person who was trying to find his lost car keys under the light of the lamp post while he lost them on the other side of the street.
I think we shouldn’t care only care about something that we can measure and call them “worth” objectives since they are assessable, but we should care about objectives which are really “worth” assessing even if there are some difficulties measuring them. We cannot simply take for granted something important because it is not measurable. For instance, it is really important in todays educational system to create learners with the ability to solve problems and think critically, which both are difficult to measure. Therefore, unmeasurable goals are not necessarily of little or no use. In sum, Popham believes that these is objectives that are created first and then instruction and assessment are created about the specific objectives; that objectives demonstrate performance standards and taxonomic analysis. He also believes that objectives should be clear, measurable, generalizable. Ultimately, a value placed on measurability, standards and proficiency. Discussion Questions: 1. To what extent re these guidelines (Popham’s) followed within the American school curriculum today? Are the guidelines followed in some curriculum than other? If so, why? 2. What message is Popham trying to express about what should be taught within the school through the guidelines? What does the value in terms of learning? 3. The majority of Popham’s guidelines deal with measurability, assessment, and proficiency. Do you believe that objectives should be written with these concepts as their primary focus? Why? Why not?
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