Critique of Tyler and Wiggins

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In his book Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction, Ralph Tyler outlines four critical components of curriculum that may serve as a guide to the creation of curriculum as well as a tool for the analysis and interpretation of curriculum. The four basic components consist of educational purposes (or objectives), educational experiences (or learning activities), organization, and evaluation (Tyler, 1949, p. 1). While Tyler does speak to each of these four components, nearly half of the book is devoted to the section on objectives. For Tyler, the objectives are the starting point in the development of the curriculum and the cornerstone upon which the rest of the curriculum is shaped. Given the shifts that have occurred in education…show more content…
My critique, based on time and resources, of Tyler’s objectives, leads directly into my next critique of this particular section. Let’s assume that it is possible to conduct all of the research and studies that Tyler suggests. I then wonder, is this information more appropriately used for the development of objectives, as Tyler suggests, or for the development of learning activities and enrichments? Tyler speaks frequently of student interests. He suggests that “children’s interests must be identified so that they can serve as the focus of educational attention” (Tyler, 1949, p.10). I agree with Tyler on this point, yet I think that this information is better used in the development of learning activities than it is for the creation of objectives. Take, for example, Tyler’s example of the sixty percent of boys in a ninth grade class that only read comic strips outside of school. With this information, I think it is more likely that a teacher will create a learning activity that reigns in this interest than it is that the objective will be changed. This ninth grade class made up of mostly boys interested in comic strips may still have the same objective as the ninth grade class made up of mostly girls who enjoy reading CosmoGirl magazine, but the teachers could do different activities to accomplish the same objectives. The first class may create
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