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Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction

With a new Foreword by Peter S. Hlebowitsh
In 1949, a small book had a big impact on education. In just over one hundred pages, Ralph W. Tyler presented the concept that curriculum should be dynamic, a program under constant evaluation and revision. Curriculum had always been thought of as a static, set program, and in an era preoccupied with student testing, he offered the innovative idea that teachers and administrators should spend as much time evaluating their plans as they do assessing their students.

Since then, Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction has been a standard reference for anyone working with curriculum development. Although not a strict how-to guide, the book shows how educators can critically approach curriculum planning, studying progress and retooling when needed. Its four sections focus on setting objectives, selecting learning experiences, organizing instruction, and evaluating progress. Readers will come away with a firm understanding of how to formulate educational objectives and how to analyze and adjust their plans so that students meet the objectives. Tyler also explains that curriculum planning is a continuous, cyclical process, an instrument of education that needs to be fine-tuned.

This emphasis on thoughtful evaluation has kept Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction a relevant, trusted companion for over sixty years. And with school districts across the nation working feverishly to align their curriculum with Common Core standards, Tyler’s straightforward recommendations are sound and effective tools for educators working to create a curriculum that integrates national objectives with their students’ needs.

144 pages | 1 table | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 1949, 1969, 2013

Education: Curriculum and Methodology


"Tyler addresses the essential purposes of teaching in a way that still has relevance for contemporary students of education, and communicates to them how important and timeless the quality of the pupil-teacher interaction actually is."

Times Higher Education

Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter S. Hlebowitsh
1. What Educational Purposes Should the School Seek to Attain?
Studies of the Learners Themselves as a Source of Educational Objectives
Studies of Contemporary Life Outside the School
Suggestions About Objectives from Subject Specialists
The Use of Philosophy in Selecting Objectives
The Use of a Psychology of Learning in Selecting Objectives
Stating Objectives in a Form to be Helpful in Selecting Learning Experiences and in Guiding Teaching
2. How Can Learning Experiences Be Selected Which Are Likely to Be Useful in Attaining These Objectives?
Meaning of the Term “Learning Experience”
General Principles in Selecting Learning Experiences
Illustrations of the Characteristics of Learning Experiences Useful in Attaining Various Types of Objectives
3. How Can Learning Experiences Be Organized for Effective Instruction?
What is Meant by “Organization”
Criteria for Effective Organization
Elements to be Organized
Organizing Principles
The Organizing Structure
The Process of Planning a Unit of Organization
4. How Can the Effectiveness of Learning Experiences Be Evaluated?
The Need for Evaluation
Basic Notions Regarding Evaluation
Evaluation Procedures
Using the Results of Evaluation
Other Values and Uses of Evaluation Procedures
5. How a School or College Staff May Work on Curriculum Building

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