Historical Roots of Curriculum

After discussing traditional perspectives of teaching and hearing about the Tyler Rationale, I discovered this method was widely used throughout my educational career. Beginning in kindergarten, we were tested on counting, tracing, cutting, speaking, and writing. I remember, somehow, vividly tracing a large blue whale on a paper and receiving a checkmark for my hard work. This trend of assessment is still popular and although has variations, the concept of testing students on the amount of knowledge they have absorbed has been something I have experienced every year of school. I have seen it in exams, essays, quizzes, and presentations. Most of what is assigned to students seems to be concerned with proving knowledge or demonstrating relative ideas.

Being a student who struggled with exams and testing, I found evaluation in which all the information must be learnt previously, have a strict time limit, and made up the bulk of your final grade to be extremely stressful and ineffective. I found myself often feeling unaccomplished with my classes because although I gained knowledge of the subject, I was unable to demonstrate my knowledge through a 2 hour multiple choice exam with forty percent of my mark. Although I believe assessment is necessary to ensure students are understanding key topics and are gaining skills relevant to future required courses, I believe there should be multiple forms to include all types of learners. The article from this week suggests accurate evaluation is believed to require precise testing done by someone other than the student. This disregards not only other forms of assessment such as written essays, presentations, posters, etcetera, but also self evaluation, something which can be beneficial for the student to analyze their own knowledge and effort.

Obviously, the Tyler rationale gives both the student and educator an understanding at where the student is at with regards to understanding concepts presented in the course. It is beneficial for the students future teachers to see what areas the student may need assistance in, and for parents to gain an understanding on their students knowledge as well. However, the Tyler Rationale seems to focus on assigning a number or letter to students, labelling their institutional strengths and weaknesses, and enforces the idea that knowledge is everything. It is not concerned with overall experience. There are both positive and negative aspects of this rationale which I am interested to explore deeper. I hope to gain a better understanding of assessment throughout this course and what can be done to ensure all students feel included and catered to during assessments.

 

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