Student 1 & 2

Reply to other students post with at least 250 words, and minimum of 1 reference in current APA format.

Student #1 Post

Organizing curriculum is very important and a necessary part of maintaining a well-run learning environment.  Ralph W. Tyler and Hilda Taba were both important figures in education who helped shape curriculum. Tyler and Taba both believed that teachers are vital in education, but students are ultimately responsible for their learning.  However, their focus of curriculum was different: Tyler’s method was a top-down pedagogical approach, while Taba focused more on the classroom. Despite their differences, both methods of constructing curriculum provide strong guidelines for educators to follow.

Ralph W. Tyler was an influential figure in the field of curriculum.  His beliefs are known as the Tyler Rationale and center on four questions: 1) What educational purposes should schools seek to attain? 2) What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? 3) How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? 4) How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? (Kliebard, 1970).  Tyler’s questions tie into the four steps in curriculum planning: stating objectives, selecting experiences, organizing experiences, and evaluating. According to Kliebard (1970), Tyler’s approach was known as the top-down pedagogical approach.  Tyler’s method started with a big, abstract concept and then worked down to the specific details.  Along with this method, Tyler believed that learning occurs when students take an active role in their education.

Hilda Taba also impacted the field of curriculum.  Her dedication and hard work in the education field changed curriculum design.  Dr. Taba worked with esteemed colleagues, including John Dewey, Ralph Tyler, and Deborah Elkins. In her book entitled Curriculum Development: Theory and Practice, she provides three levels of knowledge: facts, basic ideas/principles, and concepts (Costa & Loveall, 2002).  This hierarchy of knowledge is established so learning can occur. According to Costa & Loveall (2002), Taba believed that factual information is too broad to remember even if it is important. Taba’s model emphasizes that basic facts and principles are needed in order for students to retain needed information, and content needs to be learnable at appropriate age levels.  Learning is a process, built on building blocks. Once the first two levels are done, then third-level knowledge is attainable. Taba’s model for curriculum development was built on building blocks. She also believed that standardized tests only limit in measuring a student’s assessment of knowledge. As an alternative, classroom discussions are one useful way of determining how students are receiving and relaying information.   

Personally, I prefer to implement Taba’s model in my classroom in Progressive education.  I feel that educators should have major input in curriculum development.  When creating curriculum, my goal is to simplify the content so students do not feel overwhelmed.  Several of my students speak English as their second language, so I often need to simplify what I am teaching.  I believe that assessments are only one means of measuring student knowledge. Tests and assessments are essential parts of checking student progress and comprehension,  but additional methods need to be implemented when checking to see what students know.  

Tyler’s and Taba’s models both align with Christian education.  Educators are unique individuals who need to find the style that works best for them.  For a solid education, there needs to be a firm foundation. Students also need educators to provide a foundation that directs them towards a life that seeks learning and wisdom.  Philippians 4:9 says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (New International Version). We do not learn everything all at once–this is not the way our Creator designed us. Instead, God wants us to seek knowledge and practice what we know until we are able to comprehend and understand it. For educators, we have the role of providing both a solid curriculum and a firm foundation of learning and Christian philosophies for our students. Both Tyler’s and Taba’s models of curriculum set educators on the right path to completing these goals.

References

Costa, A. L., & Loveall, R. A. (2002). The Legacy of Hilda Taba. Journal of Curriculum & Supervision18(1), 56. Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=7590682&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Kliebard, H. (1970). The Tyler Rationale. The School Review,78(2), 259-272. Retrieved January 23, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/1084240

Student #2 Post

Tyler’s rationale begins with defining learning objectives that come from studying the needs of learners, the norms of society, and from experts in the subject matter (Kliebard, 1970).  Once objectives are defined, topics of study are developed around a philosophical framework of the culture.  In general, the curriculum developer uses his or her value system to drive the creation of objectives which, in turn, provides learners with an education that makes them suitable to perform life tasks within their world.  Taba looked at three levels of knowledge to develop learning guidelines (Costa & Loveall, 2002).  The first level is acquiring facts and has the least amount of longevity and significance since there are so many changes happening so quickly in our modern society.  The second level is where students develop facts into ideas and principles and is more enduring and takes more effort.  The third level is where students take knowledge and develop abstractions and concepts, and this knowledge is the most enduring.  Taba’s goal was for students to learn on the third level so that concept development could occur across subject matter.

Both Tyler and Taba believed the society, culture, and philosophies of the students’ environment strongly dictated the objectives that were identified as necessary, and thus, what topics should be learned (Costa & Loveall, 2002; Kliebard, 1970).  They both also agreed that the material the students would be learning needed to be manageable for the students’ ability levels and appropriate for their future lives within their culture.  Tyler seemed to put a greater emphasis on developing objectives; whereas, Taba put a greater emphasis on helping students develop higher levels of thought, such as being able to make predictions, across subject matters. 

Personally, I prefer to follow more along the lines of developing appropriate objectives as in Tyler’s model.  For me, it helps keep me organized and following a proper sequence.  This is important in my field of math since prior lessons must often be mastered before you can proceed to the next level.  I struggle with teaching abstract thought to many students because some just are not ready for that kind of thinking.  My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and we learned that most elementary and middle school students do not yet have the brain development complete for abstract though.  This is why some of the good intentions of common core ideals are so hard for some students to grasp.  More flexibility needs to be incorporated to allow for students who may not have fully formed abstract thought.  From a Christian perspective, we as teachers and leaders need to realize that students are at varying levels of development, and we need to be accepting of where they are while helping them to achieve that next level (Philippians 2:3-4).  By showing them patience and acceptance, we are modeling the love of Christ (Romans 5:8).

References

Costa, A. L., & Loveall, R. A. (2002). The Legacy of Hilda Taba. Journal of Curriculum & Supervision18(1), 56.

Kliebard, H. (1970). The Tyler rationale. The School Review,78(2), 259-272.