“Tyler’s Rationale”

I can think of many experiences throughout my education where Tyler’s rationale played a role. One that particularly sticks out in my mind is in my History 10 class. I am almost positive that the teacher simply read a chapter ahead of us in the assigned textbook, had us write notes on said chapter, and answer questions directly out of the textbook. Once we would finish a unit we would have a quiz on what we have learned. It was both uninteresting and lacked engagement for both the teacher and the students. This example I feel perfectly fits with Tyler’s four fundamental questions, where the instructor is asked to: confirm the goals they wish to attain (the History 10 curriculum), their organization strategy (laid out perfectly in the textbook through chapters and units), their efficiency strategy (also laid out in the textbook through questions at the end of each chapter), and their form of assessment (quizzes after each unit). Through this way of teaching our educator could carry out the curriculum in a simple and effective (for some students) manner.

There are many limitations to Tyler’s rationale in my opinion. One is that students all have different interests, abilities, and needs. I feel that the teacher and students must work together to achieve the task at hand. Sure, reading out of the textbook works for some students, however many students struggled with this type of teaching style. Through working with the students and allowing them to influence the ways in which the teaching is delivered will help to create more effective and engaging lessons where all students can gain the knowledge needed. Another limitation of this type of instructing is that it has no regard for culture. In my example of History 10, we simply saw history of the industrial revolution through one (Western) lens. We know that history can be seen through many different lenses and, as instructors, it is our responsibility to give the students the opportunity to see the world through whichever lens they so choose.

There also are some benefits of Tyler’s rationale, when used in the right way. For one, this type of teaching is very simple for teachers to follow: simply choose what they feel is important for the student to learn (textbook), and assess them through whichever method they choose (quizzes). The four fundamental questions are also valid, and instructors should be thinking about these when developing lesson plans. If this theory is used properly it can be a good starting point for your students. I feel that through this way you can expand and have the students influence the lessons to help develop more engaging and effective lessons.


“Common Sense”

Kumashiro defines “common sense” as a knowledge that “everyone should know”. One’s geographical location, cultural and educational background help to shape their conception of “common sense”. This knowledge is often taken for granted by the people of said area, and is often only realized by an “outsider” visiting a foreign area and holds a different conception of their own “common sense”.

It is important to pay attention to the “common sense” of the area for a number of reasons. Kumashiro explained his difficulties when not understanding the “common sense”, stating that because he did cook their traditional rice-lentil-veggie combo, the people of Nepal assumed that he did not know how to cook. Immersing one’s self in the culture helps to understand this type of “common sense”. It helps the individual connect and also gain a greater respect from the people of the area.

As teachers, respect is needed in order for your students to see your lessons as valuable and something that they will use. Knowing “common sense” will also give the teacher a better understanding of what the students will see as valuable, in turn a better understanding of what type of lessons will engage them. We must understand our students’ cultural backgrounds and unique learning styles in order to create effective and engaging lessons. For these reasons, understanding the “common sense” of the area is crucial knowledge for educators in order to gain the respect of their students and community.