What Is the Difference Between Ralph Tyler’s and Hilda Taba’s Theory of Curriculum?

Hilda Taba’s theory of curriculum development is considered a more grassroots, inductive approach than other traditionalist models, such as Ralph Tyler’s objectives model, or rational model, of curriculum design. Taba advocated for teachers to design the curriculum, rather than higher authorities dictating the curriculum to the teachers. She also believed curriculum was best designed inductively, starting with specifics and building up to a more general design.

According to Theory to Practice, Tyler’s curriculum design research model is the most common model. His model, devised in 1949, poses four questions to the curriculum developer. The answers to these questions inform the four stages in the curriculum design process: stating objectives, selecting learning experiences, organizing these learning experiences and evaluation to determine whether the objectives were achieved and assess whether the learning experiences produced the desired results.

In 1962, Taba refined Tyler’s curriculum development model, adding three additional stages that involved diagnosing the needs of the learners as a first step and added the selection and organization of content as additional steps. Taba’s curriculum design process contained seven main steps: diagnosis of the learners’ educational needs, formulating specific objectives, selection of content based on those objectives, organization of the content into appropriate levels and sequences, selection of learning experiences that help the students learn the content, organization of those learning experiences and evaluation of whether the objectives are met.