Tyler's Basic Principles
In his Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction (1949), Tyler stated that “if we are to study an educational program systematically and intelligently we must first be sure as to the educational objectives aimed at.”
The pioneer in the application of objectives to curriculum, Tyler defined four basic objective-centered principles: (Tyler, 1949, 1)
1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? (objectives)
2. What educational experiences can be provided that are likely to attain these purposes? (experiences)
3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? (organization)
4. How can we determine whether these purposes are being attained? (evaluation)
Tyler did not attempt to answer these questions. His purpose was to provide “a rational by which to examine problems of curriculum and instruction” (Tyler, 1949, 3). The rationale should be used by curriculum / course developers based on the needs of their particular institution and curriculum. These principles are used as a component of the framework for course development suggested later in this paper.
Learning objectives need to be developed for each educational experience. Tyler stated that objectives are necessary both to provide a focus for teaching and as a criteria for evaluation. In a 1981 interview conducted by Jeri Ridings Nowakowski, Ed.D., Tyler said that objectives were “…very important for people starting a program to reach new students and find our whether they were accomplishing their purposes)” (Nowakowski, 1981) and that they should be reflective of what the instructor hoped their students would be learning.
Initial objectives should be based on three sources. The needs and interests of the students, the competencies demanded by contemporary society, and the subject matter to be covered should be evaluated and screened to develop precise instructional objectives (Orlosky, 1978). For objectives to be useful,...