The Tyler rationale

The Tyler rationale is composed of four main components. These components are:

  1. The objectives
  2. The experiences related to the objectives
  3. Organisation of the experience
  4. Evaluation of the objectives

This module continues to be the base from which most teachers develop their lessons.

In my own experience whether it be elementary or high school, I have encountered the Tyler rationale. More often than not, I was learning things for the sole purpose of being tested on them later. Because of this, I didn’t feel I was actually learning the class content I was more so memorizing it for the evaluation and then forgetting about it right after. I feel that standardized tests are where this most frequently happens because the majority of a student’s grade is dependent on how they perform on one day instead of considering their work through the entire semester. In my experience the stress of knowing that that will be the main thing I will be evaluated on means that I won’t pay attention to fully understanding content and getting as much as I can out of the class.

The limitation to this rationale is that it’s very controlling in what will and can be learned. No two students learn exactly the same so this rationale does not allow room for any differentiation. The Tyler rational can be compared to a shirt labelled one size fits all, the size will no doubt fit some better than others.

Despite its limitations the Tyler rationale has some potential benefits. It is a dependable starting point for teachers to develop lessons. It is a method most parents are comfortable with so it can be used to help them understand what their children will be learning. For students to benefit from there formal education it is important that teachers remain flexible and open to new practices and ideals in order to accommodate every learner.

One thought on “The Tyler rationale

  1. Hi Brooke! I completely understand your point about standardized testing. I went through standardized testing in elementary school in Alberta, and I think it is an unfair representation of what a student knows about a particular subject. Like you said, students are focused on passing the test rather than actually learning something. We should really be focused on what students are actually learning rather than the outcome and evaluation!


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