Traditional Methodology in Education

In education, teachers have followed traditional methods and perspectives for many years. Through the reading, Curriculum theory: Conflicting visions and enduring concerns, (Schiro, 2013), I learned how there are many beliefs and views on how children should be educated during their developmental years in school. As a future teacher, it is my goal to discover how each individual student learns best, and work with him/her to provide the support and care they deserve.

One rational that is commonly used in schools is called the Tyler Rationale. It consists of thinking about schooling, with curricular goals at the forefront. As stated in the reading, Tyler introduced four main questions that educators must think about when implementing curriculum in the classroom.

  1. “What educational purposes should the school seek to attain?”
  2. “What experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes?”
  3. “How can these educational experiences be effectively organized?”
  4. “How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained?” (Schiro, 2013, pg. 58).

During my own schooling, I have experienced the Tyler Rationale many times, and in my own opinion, when it is implemented, it does not always make for an engaging class experience. One example of this rational being used within my schooling, was during my Grade eleven English class. When we were learning Romeo and Juliet I remember being confused and bored as my teacher simply made us read the script out loud, with limited explanations and non-existent engagement. Instead of engaging in dramatization, my teacher gave my classmates and me loads of worksheets, simply to keep us busy. Perhaps my teacher was ready to retire; however, it was obvious he was simply following curricular outcomes.

As previously mentioned, the Tyler rational is not flawless. Although its aim is to gain a clear picture of assessment and evaluation, it leaves out many valuable elements of education. Tyler mentions how, “education is a process of changing the behaviour of people… educational objectives, then, represent the kinds of changes in behaviour that an educational institution seeks to bring about in its students” (Schiro, 2013, pg. 58). As teachers, if we go into the classrooms with this worldview, we are not giving our students enough credit. They come into our classrooms with brains already full of knowledge; however, it is our job to help refine, broaden, and continue this learning; instead of changing their behavior. As educators, I believe that we must sometimes take non-traditional measures to help our students learn. If we always follow an exact science of assessment and evaluation, our students will not get to experience engaging and creative experiences. I want my students to realize that there are numerous ways to approach learning outcomes!

Ralph Tyler was very knowledgeable and did help provide educators with a framework to help their students reach success. I believe that Tyler’s rational would be quite useful in fact-based classes such as math, science, and social. However, in classes like the arts, sometimes the end result isn’t always linear. I believe that Tyler’s method also allows educators to think critically about the curriculum outcomes and indicators and how they could be incorporated and, in some cases, improved. I am excited to implement and discover many other educational ideologies through my career!

How Do We Define Common Sense?

How do we define common sense?

Every culture in our world has a set of beliefs of what society’s “norm” is; the things we are all expected to know. This knowledge, sometimes inherently, has been passed down throughout generations; therefore, becoming instilled within us. Many of us strive to fit within these expectations; but have we ever stopped and wondered, why? Why do we follow the people and rules laid out before us, like a herd of cows, following one another in a line? Too often we take the “safe” way out without questioning the outcome.

In, The problem of common sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, (Kumashiro, 2009), I learned how these social norms are otherwise known as “common sense”. This “common sense” is a group of expectations that a cultural society is required to know. However; these norms differ from place to place, as each country has their own ideals. For example, Kumashiro explained how, in Nepal, his teaching placement group failed to, “critique our unspoken assumptions of U.S. superiority” (Pg. XXXII). What about if we begin to question these notions and open our eyes to realize that not one culture’s perspectives and ways of living are more superior to another. We must all speak up and challenge these matters to reduce oppression within our everyday world, and as future teachers, in the classroom.

What can we do as educators?

As educators, we cannot ignore the problem of common sense, as, like Kumashiro mentions, it does not welcome inclusion and diversity within the classrooms (2009). In classrooms, we must work to broaden students understanding about different cultures educational perspectives. This way, students will gain acceptance as well as discover exciting knowledge.

It is my goal as an educator to get to know my students as not only learners, but people; where they came from, what their interests are, and what makes them tick. It is my aim to incorporate different ways of learning that breaks the norm and “common sense” view of education. For example, I have always had a passion for the arts and I really believe that it can make a difference in a child’s life. The arts seem to be the classes that get cut first in schools so that other subjects and extracurricular activities can be funded. Therefore, it is my goal as an educator to integrate the arts into the different subjects I teach. I realize that many teachers would not take the time to include this, and it is not the “norm” of schooling, however; I believe that my students will learn better and retain more information when my classes are interactive, fun and engaging.

As an educator, I will work to ensure that all of my students feel valued, safe and important within the classroom. I agree with Kumashiro that, “… change is possible. Change is already happening in classes around the world… There is much reason to have hope” (2009, pg. XL).  As future teachers, we have a platform for change. Will we choose to make a difference?

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