Curriculum Development: Deductive Models
Fred C. Lunenburg
Sam Houston State University ________________________________________________________________________ ABSTRACT Three models are presented in this article: Tyler’s behavioral model, Beauchamp’s managerial model, and Saylor, Alexander, and Lewis’s administrative model. Models can assist curriculum developers to conceptualize the development process by pinpointing certain principles and procedures. The three models examined are deductive, linear, and prescriptive. Most curriculum makers adhere to all three approaches. The administrative model is a little more theoretical than the behavioral or managerial approaches. ________________________________________________________________________
Much of the professional literature stresses the need for supervisors and administrators to become more involved in curriculum development. The need to plan effective curricula is obvious, because curriculum is considered the heart of schooling. The difficulty, however, is that not everyone agrees what curriculum is or what is involved in curriculum development. What is curriculum development? In its most simplified form, curriculum development is the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating curriculum that ultimately results in a curriculum plan. One way of developing a curriculum plan is through modeling. Models are essentially patterns that serve as guidelines to action. Models can be found for almost every form of educational activity. The education profession has models of administration, of supervision, of instruction, of evaluation, and others. There are models of curriculum development as well. Using a model to develop curriculum can result in greater efficiency and productivity (Oliva, 2009). By examining models for curriculum development, we can analyze the phases essential to the process. The three models I selected for analysis were conceived by well known scholars in the field: Ralph W. Tyler (1949), George Beauchamp (1981), and J. Galen Saylor, William M. Alexander, and Arthur J. Lewis (1981). The models are deductive; they proceed from the general (e.g., examining the needs of society) to the specific (e.g., specifying instructional objectives). Furthermore, the models are linear; they involve a certain order or sequence of steps from beginning to end. Linear models need not be immutable sequences of steps, however. Curriculum
makers can exercise judgment as to entry points and interrelationships of components of the model. Moreover, the three models are prescriptive; they suggest what ought to be done and what is done by many curriculum developers.
Tyler: Behavioral Model Probably the most frequently quoted theoretical formulation in the field of curriculum has been that published by Ralph Tyler in 1949. Tyler stated his curriculum rationale in terms of four questions that, he argued, must be answered in developing any curriculum plan of instruction: 1. What educational purposes should the school seek to attain? 2. What educational experiences can be provided that will likely attain these purposes? 3. How can these educational experiences be effectively organized? 4. How can we determine whether the purposes are being attained? These questions may be reformulated into a four-step process: stating objectives, selecting learning experiences, organizing learning experiences, and evaluating the curriculum. The Tyler rationale is essentially an explication of these steps. Figure 1 outlines Tyler’s conceptual framework. He proposes that educational objectives originate from three sources: studies of society, studies of learners, and subject-matter specialists. These data systematically collected and analyzed form the basis of initial objectives to be tested for their attainability and their efforts in real...