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Ralph Tyler published Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction in 1949, where he presented an approach to curriculum and instruction comprised of four basic principles.  Those principles are “(1) determine the school’s purposes, (2) identify educational experiences related to those purposes, (3) ascertain how the experiences are organized, and (4) evaluate the purposes” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2017, p. 194).  Tyler believed that there was a logical sequence to teaching and reteaching information to allow for a “maximum cumulative effect” (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2017, p. 194), but also that there was critical need for evaluation to determine whether a program is effective.

In my opinion, and based on my experiences, evaluation tends to be an area of weakness. Often times, programs are implemented because they are the newest best thing on the market, however, when it comes to evaluation often this is not done objectively if it is done at all.  Many times, I have seen programs implemented and arrested simply because there was resistance from teachers or students.  Unfortunately, this is not always in the best interests of the students.

If I were a district leader I would focus on including objective assessments of any implemented curriculum.  I would start at the administrative level to develop the purpose for the needed curriculum.  The assistant superintendent along with curriculum specialists would identify the need and purpose for the curriculum.  Once the purposes have been identified, the next step is to develop the experiences that will relate to those purposes. Often times this is a Scope and Sequence, where all types of educational experiences created to engage students in learning are included (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2017).  The job of organizing those experiences in a logical order is something that Tyler was very specific about.  He stated that sequencing had to be systematic in order to produce the best results (Ornstein & Hunkins, 2017). Once the assistant superintendent and curriculum specialists have finished this step, there would be approval necessary from the superintendent and the school board.  The final step is to create an evaluative process that will determine how effective this curriculum is.  In my opinion, this is a job best done by curriculum specialists.  It may be that the actual steps for evaluation are done at the building level, by administrators and teachers along with the students, however, the design of the evaluation itself should be created by a specialist in that area.



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