Questions to the ‘Efficiency’ in Curriculum

Respond in your blog to the following writing prompt: Curriculum development from a traditionalist perspective is widely used across schools in Canada and other countries. Can you think about:

A) The ways in which you may have experience the Tyler rationale in your own schooling?

As I was born and raised in South Korea, my entire schooling has done by following the Korean curriculum. Although various differences can be found in the education system between two cultures, similarities certainly exist as well, and I believe that Tyler’s rationale is one of the similarities. As argued in Schiro’s article (2013), Tyler’s rationale values the purpose of school and the schooling process for the desired purpose, while finding the most efficient and effective ways to achieve the purpose. Throughout my schooling, I remember that regardless of the subject, outcome of the class is always written on the top of the board in every lesson. Sometimes students were even asked to read out loud the outcome before the class starts. The lesson would include mini quizzes in regular basis in order for students to be ready for the midterms and finals. By looking back, I think that even though these classes may have been effective to achieve a certain ‘goal’, they were more like ‘training’ than ‘learning’ to me.

B) What are the major limitations of the Tyler rationale/what does it make impossible?

As discussed in the lecture, Tyler’s rationale can be seen as a ‘factory model’ because it features standardized teaching and learning, as well as teacher-orientated classroom rather than student-oriented. This would hinder the students from growing an ability to think critically and differently, strengthening creativity, while lacking socialization skills with less experience in working collaboratively with peers who share different background and ways of learning. Eventually, the students would be kept from accepting and embracing the diversity in the society.

C) What are some potential benefits/what is made possible?

Tyler’s rationale does suggest some structure and organization as a basis for curriculum development and implementation. It allows for rules and regulations regarding mandated subjects that must be taught to everyone. The guidelines can be utilized as a helpful tool for teachers, to ensure that they stay on track and follow similar methods and practices to that of their fellow teachers.



Schiro, M. (2013). Chapter 3: Social Efficiency Ideology. In Curriculum Theory: Conflicting Visions and Enduring Concerns. (2nd ed.). SAGE.


Is Commonsense Really Common?

Kumashiro would argue that the idea of ‘commonsense’ is what everyone should know, which is the default answer that most people would agree on. However, what is deemed as commonsense can be different according to one’s perspective, as it all depends on one’s culture, values, gender, race, socioeconomic class, experiences, background, and many more. That being said, commonsense cannot be universal. People are used to their own ways of thinking and routines, and they would think that those viewpoints and behaviours are considered as commonsense. Although it is not truly ‘commonsense’ to them, newcomers are expected to learn what is ‘commonsense’ in the new culture they reside in, whereas those commonsense is known by locals and seen as ‘norms’, as the locals have been raised with those ‘norms’. This implies that it might be easier for newcomers to question the commonsense because the locals consider it to be normal, while not even considering to question. Also, commonsense is practiced repeatedly, which makes it hard to recognize and challenge it, as it comforts people.


It is important to pay attention to commonsense because it helps us feel comfortable to question our ways of thinking, and intentionally allow this to happen. Due to the fact that those ways of thinking that we are used to, the ‘norms’ in other words, “privilege and benefit some groups and identities while marginalizing and subordinating others on the basis of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disabilities, language, age, and other social markers” (Kumashiro, 2009. p. XXXVI), it must be questioned and challenged with various viewpoints. By challenging what is seen as normative, we would become able to broaden our views toward the differences among people, and feel comfortable to accept those differences while embracing the diversity, which is a key to pursue anti-oppressive education.



Kumashiro. (2009). The Problem of Common SenseIn Against Common Sense: Teaching and Learning Toward Social Justice, pp. XXIX – XLI.