My experience may differ from a lot of person in the classroom. I barely experience the Tyler rationale in studying. In my youth, I was the one of the first promotion the test the new curriculum in Quebec. The new curriculum was based of project -based teaching method.
Elementary school, the mix between two worlds
In elementary school, most of the teacher was doing their best to use projects in their evaluation. For example, one of the project in English class was the construction of theme park. We were using math to balance our budget. We also had to search the internet to know the cost of the ride and the roundabout. After the project was finish, the students present their work to their classmates. This project contradicts Tyler rationale, because followers of this philosophy think the task should be atomize and divide into smaller parts and they do not see the project as whole. “They (educators) must treat the field of action into sufficient into small units such that each is the smallest convenient size. (Schiro, 2013)”
In math, the teachers were showing different strategy to solve a problem. There was not a single solution to all math problems, but multiple paths that can all arrive to the same solution. What strategy you will use was a mix of personal preference and the problem you had to solve. The Tyler rationale believe the students are important, in the learning process, but must take the most efficient way to accomplish a task and not the way he personally prefer. “This refer to the Social Effenciency belief that, to be “efficient”, a learned behavior must become so ingrained that the learner responds automatically and in predetermined manner to a specific stimuli- without the contemplation or internal thought processing in working memory that typically occurs when a behavior is just been learned (as in Type to Learn). (Schiro, 2013)”
However, some teachers were still using the Tyler rationale in their teaching. It was mostly for dictation and tables of multiplication. The teachers were using the repetition of the task to make the students learn and they were only interest by the result.
High school, learning to learn
In high school, I was in an international school and the students must develop the academic skills of the international school’s curriculum. This curriculum has competences like learning to learn, Homo Fabien and living in community that must be apply all school subjects. There was a lot of crossover between all school subjects; one of the project even integrate 8 different school subjects. It clearly contrasts with the vision of Tyler rationale who think tasks should be evaluated individually. The principals were also enforcing that philosophy and were meeting the teachers who want to do a more traditionist exam.
The good and the bad
Human is too complex
The problem is that Tyler rationale is that it does not care about a lot of aspects of the human condition. One of the core concept of the Behaviorism teaching is the black box. The black box is the idea that what happen in the student’s head should not be study, because it is impossible (or too difficult) to explore with objectivity. Instead behaviorism researchers try to focus on what that can be seen, actions. “As a result, only those aspects of people that can be atomistically observed and measured-objective aspects are consider; the subjective aspects of people, which are not observable, measurable, or atomistic, fade into the background . (Schiro, 2013)” The mistakes of this view of science is that a lot of things are left unexplained and limit your perspective on a specific problem a student can have.
Do it for yourself
The other problem is that Tyler rationale is that focus only on extrinsic motivation instead intrinsic motivation. In the article, the writer describes one of the machine that describe Tyler rationale philosophy and he laid out how the student is been motivated. “If they pass the test- with sufficient typing and accuracy- they are given a reward in the form of a chance to play a game in which they practice the typing skills they have learned thus far. (Schiro, 2013)”In this description , the students are given reward after the work of learning is complete and he is a kind Skinner Box technique where to student is only motivated by the rewards after the tasks instead of the tasks themselves. This kind of motivation is short and may not be satisfying for the students. The intersect motivation on the hand is focus on making the task entertaining and keeping the students motivated by the task. The task no longer feels a chore the student must accomplish to reach the real fun but more like the end-goal itself. This kind of motivation keep the student motivated for longer and is usually more resilient.
Goodbye intuition Welcome Science
I think Tyler rationale is more a piece of history than a philosophy in our modern world. That does not mean that this philosophy did not help us understand the world around us. The biggest legacy that Tyler rationale bring to the table is the use of science. “It (scientific methodologies) refer to the methodology of technology and connoted a collection of techniques such as statistics, accurate measurement, task analysis, efficient engineering, and industrial management. (Schiro, 2013)” This part of the article mentions all the tools the social efficiently ideologist used to base their actions in the classroom. Before that Social Efficiency ideology, teachers were mostly using their intuition and their own experience to back their pedagogical decisions. The used of those tools was a huge advancement to make our teaching better. This mean we can based our teaching on facts instead of instinct. Those tools are still used today, but they are used to demonstrate all the different aspects of being a human. Thanks to Tyler rationale doing the first steps, most the teacher practices should have a certain standard of scientific rigor.
Do you think that Tyler rationale is piece of history or is it useful in today’s world?
Schiro, Michael (2013). Curriculum theory : Conflicting visions and enduring concerns, (2 Éd). SSGE