Ralph W. Tyler’s Rational-Linear approach to curriculum planning and design:

1. Set learning objectives: Be clear on the learning objectives. Who sets the learning objectives in the compressed curriculum format? Consideration for identifying learning objectives.  

The two major considerations for identifying learning objectives are 1. Your educational philosophy, and 2. Your psychology of learning.

2. Selecting learning experiences: Learning experiences are the lessons and activities created by the person planning and designing the compressed curriculum. How can learning experiences be selected that are likely to be useful in attaining learning objectives?

The basic principle for selection of learning experiences that Tyler provides is to select those learning experiences that are most likely to help students reach the learning objectives.

3. How to organize learning experiences? How can learning experiences be organized for effective instruction?

Tyler suggests that a learning experience should be organized for precisely the same general reason that it was selected in the first place: as a means of helping students reach certain ends (which are the previously specified objectives). Specifically, he suggests that each learning experience should be built on earlier ones (vertical organization) and should be reinforced by activities in other subjects (horizontal organization).

  Traditional Curriculum Development

There are numerous frameworks for curriculum development. Tyler's (1949) model, however, may be the most widely recognized. Tyler suggests four basic principles for curriculum development including: purpose(s) of the school, educational experiences related to purposes, organization of experiences, and evaluation of purposes. Later, Taba (1962) proposed a more complex model that builds on Tyler's view of effective curriculum development.  Taba's model includes the following stages:

• Define target students and their needs: Teachers and curriculum designers need to define those students for whom the curriculum is being developed. By first identifying particular students and their needs, curricula will be both more efficient and more effective.

• Identify instructional objectives: After teachers and designers have defined the target students and their needs, they should state specific instructional objectives, including those in cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.

• Select the scope of subject content: After objectives have been stated, teachers and designers must determine the subject matter, or the content of the curriculum.

• Organize sequence and structure: Teachers and designers cannot merely select subject content; they must also arrange content in a sequence or structure that will best accommodate targeted students' academic levels and interests.

• Select presentation methods and media: Following the arrangement of content, teachers and designers should select suitable media to present the planned sequence or structure of course content. Effective presentation methods are more likely to engage students in the learning processes, and thus to accomplish instructional objectives.

• Design assessment activities: Assessment is a crucial component of curriculum development; assessment of student learning, based on stated objectives, produces data with which one may determine the overall success of curriculum design and implementation.

• Implement formative evaluation: Before implementing a new curriculum, a series of formative evaluations should be conducted in order to identify and assess any weaknesses in the proposed curriculum. This allows teachers and designers to improve design before implementation, and thus improve overall performance."


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