Curriculum Development in the Twenties and Thirties
by Ralph W. Tyler - 1971
The American leaders of curriculum development after World War I sought to base their guiding principles upon the results of scientific studies of education. Thorndike's investigations of transfer of training had destroyed the earlier confidence in the educational value of school subjects as such. Formal discipline could no longer be invoked to justify the inclusion of such fields as Latin and geometry in high school programs. The relevance of the content of the curriculum to the problems and activities of contemporary life had to be considered. Furthermore, scientific studies of memorization showed that children forget material in a short time unless they have frequent occasions to recall what they have memorized. These findings suggested that curriculum content must be selected which children will have early and frequent occasions to use.
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