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Tyler Rationale on Service Learning as a Classroom Activity

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Tyler rationale has dominated the curriculum world since it was published in 1949.   It has been a continuous source of inspiration for the development and delivery of curriculum.    The rationale is based on a simple and elegant description model that relates the relationship between curriculum, instruction and evaluation. The Tyler model expresses the basic principle and instruction in four steps or process. The four steps include making decision on the purpose of education and the objectives of schooling, selection of the appropriate learning experience, organization of the learning experiences for effective instruction, and evaluation of the learning experiences (Tyler, 1949).

Tyler rationale has therefore supports the development of the curriculum that is focused on achievement of educational goals. In the development and delivery of the curriculum, the rationale therefore supports the implementation of service learning as an important classroom activity.

Tyler rationale and service learning as classroom activity

 Tyler rationale emphasize on the use of data about the learners or society or subject area experts in order to develop the main purpose that any curriculum should aim at attaining.  It calls for the selection of education experiences based on the likelihood of attainment of the curriculum goal.  Then the selection data is organized in a logical way in order to obtain cumulative effect. Constant evaluation is always taken on the process in order to refine it with the necessary changes.

Tyler rationale provides a reflection of what the curriculum should be aiming to achieve in the education process. It supports the learning process that is   goal oriented and which passes through the four cycles. This means that it supports a learning process that supports goal attainment learning.

Service learning is an important learning process which enables the student to experience the goal oriented learning. Service learning helps the students to come to full contact with a flexile curriculum that is designed to meet the goals of the education process.  Service learning is a systemically planned teaching and learning process   that provide a wide range of learning opportunities, create measure for achievement of   learning objectives and provides feedback that can be used to evaluate the learning process.

Therefore Tyler rationale supports service learning an important classroom activity that can help to achieve the goals of the education process. The classroom is the center for interaction of the teachers and the students.  The goals of the education process are met in the classroom activities and in other co-curricula activities that assist learner to experience the real learning.   According to Tyler   activities like service learning and others which are implemented in the classroom helps to complement co-curricula activities which   helps the education process to meet its goals.

Service learning as s classroom activity involves designing and delivering of instruction in learning. In this case it supports the implementation of the wider learning process that has instruction based on the objectives to be achieved.  It allows for participative learning process by all students.


Tyler rationale has been used in curriculum planning for many decades now.  It has not lost its functionality in curriculum planning and development due to its rational approach to the learning process.  The rationale supports service learning as an important classroom activity since it is aimed at delivering curriculum instructions that meets the need for the learner and involves all the learners.


Tyler, R. (1949): Basic principle of curriculum and instruction. Chicago: Chicago University Press

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