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The curricular theories of Apple and Tyler: exist similarities?

Education, Curriculum, Apple, TYler


Michael Apple and Ralph Tyler had been (and they are) two authors of great influence in the field of the resume. Its curricular teorizações had not only influenced and influence in practical intense and recurrent way pedagogical and the development of research of professors/researchers of the theoretical field of the resume but also of some subcampos of the area of education in Brazil since the decade of 1970 until the present, either as for the citation number of these authors in articles produced in Brazil, either in the appropriation of the ideas of these authors for pedagogos professors/in the planning of its lessons. This work considers to find it similarities between the teorização of these two authors, which would possess radically distinct theoretical positions in some aspects, widely commented for the educational literature of the field of the resume (SILVA, 2000) but that in relation to its points of convergence pparently we would not have the same gamma of studies and research indicating its same existence or the nature of such points.

Still in relation to the nature of this work, it would be interesting to mention that two authors will be taken as analysis object excerpts of the following workmanships of these: ) Basic principles of Resume and Education: chapter 1; b) Ideology and Resume of Michael Apple: chapters 3, 4 and 5. It below follows soon summary of the workmanships analyzed with sights to introduce the theoretical position and the perspective of analysis that inform the assay developed in the next sections to the work. 1,1 Ralph Tyler: Basic principles of Resume and Education This workmanship would have as objective main to offer to all those interested parties in understanding theoretical and practical aspects regarding the estruturação and elaboration of a resume a rational base for the achievement of such task.

What everything indicates, Ralph Winfred Tyler would have as objective to bring for the pertaining to school reality (and therefore to become feasible for professors and technician of education) the half ones for the clear understanding of theoretical and practical aspects in relation the resume in the scope of the pertaining to school institutions. Basic principles of Resume and Education were a workmanship of great repercussion in the North America and Brazil. At the time of its publication in Brazil (1974) the author enjoyed of the great prestige in the United States of the North America, occupying the position of Professor Emérito and Diretor of the Center of Social Sciences of the University of Chicago, what he would have conferred to it great come to serve as referencial for the elaboration of great amount of resumes and programs of education (in, level micron, as for the schools and college of education and in level macro in regards to education systems).

Of form sufficiently soon he can yourself be said that such ideas happen on the main subjects: 1) election of curricular contents from arrives in port it theoretical of psychology and the philosophy; 2) systematic organization of the selected contents, on the basis of the junction between the “philosophical and psychological filtering” and the excellent experiences of learning considered for the specialist in resume and education. Such ideas would be developed in this workmanship with sights to subsidize initiatives for parts of professors and specialists in resume in the elaboration of educational planejamentos hardwired in practical relation to the daily one of the classrooms.

In this assay I center in the analysis of the first chapter of Basic Principles of Resume and Education, in which Tyler deals with the election of Curricular Contents. In this chapter, it searchs to identify the way from the Philosophy and of Psychology excellent curricular contents for the elaboration of education programs could be selected. 1,2 Michael Apple: Ideology and Resume This workmanship also would have influenced in sufficiently intense way the curricular teorização, in special in the end them years of 1970 and during all the decade of 1980 in Brazil (SILVA, 2000). Elaborated with the objective to develop a critical one to the perspective of curricular organization developed by authors such as Ralph Tyler, Michael Apple, Professor of the University of Wisconsin, when publishing Ideology and Resume would have searched to identify which on ideological aspects to the social control and cultural of the ruling classes they would be underlying to the elaboration of resumes and programs of education, with sights to become possible the professors and specialists in education the desvelamento of the ideological control of the education programs that “would be converted” into efficiency technique and systematic educational planning in the workmanships of authors as Tyler. It fits to stand out that, much even so has supplied to important subsidies the understanding in the way according to which the ideology of the social control if would become inlaid in the resumes and programs of education, we would not according to have in this workmanship a detailed explanation in the way which if it could elaborate resumes and programs of education without ideologies were inlaid, and of certain form, slight knowledge of social control (even though for the way according to which if it argues in the direction to deny the existence of a “neutrality technique” at the moment of the election of the curricular contents.

They will be argued in this assay third, room and fifth chapters of ideology and resume. In third (the economy and the control in the daily pertaining to school life), one searchs to analyze the way from which the school contributes for the reproduction of the social and economic inaqualities from the different distribution (the ruling classes would have advantage) of the cultural goods converted into pertaining to school knowledge. In the room chapter (History of the Resume and the Social Control) it looks for to carry through a historical rescue of the occured educational reforms in the United States (as well as its respective impacts in the resumes and programs of education), aiming at to demonstrate the form through which the resume was organized in order to strengthen the hegemony of the dominant social classrooms (in terms of race, sort and economic power). In the fifth chapter (the Occult Resume and the nature of the conflict), the author develops an analysis of the form according to which the social conflicts and the conflicts occurred in the interior of the scientific community are excluded sistematicamente in the resumes and programs of education of Social Studies and Sciences (In the United States) for “a linear and homogeneous” vision of Society and Science, which would not present conflicts and/or ruptures and discontinuities.


As it was said previously, the ideas developed in Basic Principles of Resume and Education and Ideology and Resume would be pparently very distinct, arriving at some moments if to present in antagonistic way. In relation to this it can be said that in certain measure, really it has conceptual antagonisms that, if taken in a perspective of simple confrontation it enters the workmanships of these two authors in would send the aporias to them insoluble. Although the difficulties found in this task of mapear similarities and/or convergences between the workmanships of taken Apple and Tyler as study object, were possible to find some points of convergence which duly will be explicitados and argued below.

2.1 The Resume and the materialization of the culture in the pertaining to school space Before initiating the analysis in the ways second which as much in Michael Apple how much in Ralph Tyler, the resume could be understood as first of pertaining to school and cultural meanings, fits to delimit which concept of matrix serves footing ã analysis that if it searched to undertake. In the scope of this work, the matrix concept finds its correspondent in the concept of “estruturantes structures” developed by Pierre Bourdieu in its intitled workmanship “the Symbolic Power” (BOURDIEU, 2001), and that in the words of the author it would have the property of if constituting in: “Instruments of knowledge and construction of the objective world (P. 16)”. Such instruments of knowledge and construction of the world would have its origin in the seio of the social system that would constitute them. Leaving of this concept, center my argument in the fact of that in Apple and Tyler we can perceive an attribution to the resume of a construction power and organization of the pertaining to school and cultural meanings, being present in the argument of such authors in sufficiently clear way estimated of one strong correlation between the pertaining to school knowledge and considered knowledge culturally excellent, wanted them in turn would have in the school an instance of transmission e (re) production. With respect to this premise in understanding of Apple, we can take as example the following citation: “The task to deal with pertaining to school meanings fell again historicamente on the shoulders of the specialist into resume (...) That is, the knowledge forms (in such a way how much occult the declared types), found in the pertaining to school equipment implies slight knowledge of being able and of resources and economic control (...) the linkings between meaning and control in the schools will perhaps become clearer to be reflected on a register relatively summarized of the history of the resume (APPLE, 1982, P. 74)”. In this direction, it can be said that the concern of Apple would happen on the way from which the ideology of the social control if (re) would produce by means of the school, with sights to explicitar the underlying ideological character to this institution. Thus, the school would be at the same time receiving and producing, true “estruturante structure” (first) of meanings of ideological control, which would find in the resume an element of mediation between the ideological instance and the concrete instance. In analogous way, however pparently without the interest “to denounce the underlying ideology” to the resumes and programs of education, Ralph Tyler equally would identify in the school and the resume a paper of matrix of cultural knowledge. For this author, the resume must be pautado in educational objectives, which according to it: “(...) they must be faced as judgments of value of the responsible people for the school. A global Philosophy of the education is necessary to guide in this judgment (P. 4)”. More ahead Tyler continues its reasoning affirming that: “On the other hand the philosophers of the education recognize that he has basic values in the life, to a large extent transmitted of a generation to another one by means of the education. They see the school as aiming at essentially to the transmission of the basic values determined by a extensive philosophical study, and therefore the educational philosophy is the basic source from which if they can derive objectives (P. 5)”. Thus being, same that, in contrast to Michael Apple, Tyler if it does not worry in “denouncing the underlying ideology” to the resume, it equally recognizes in the resume a paper of matrix of meanings proceeding from the social environment and which it “must after return” the process from escolarização, fulfilling in this way an analogous paper what Apple attributes to the resume in the direction to materialize in the school cultural practical meanings and.

2.2 The prescriptive Character of the argument of Apple and Tyler As much Michael Apple how much Ralph Tyler, although to leave of different theoretical perspectives and if withholds in diverse aspects of the process of construction, implementation and analysis of the pertaining to school resumes, would have in common the fact of offers as more significant contribution for the professors and researchers of resume an argument that, although great validity (in both the authors) does not leave to present a certain prescriptive, express character in sets of procedures to be followed to elaborate or to analyze the resume. In regards to “Ideology and Resume” (APPLE, 1982), it can be said that this becomes clearly in the measure where this considers as form to perceive the ideology of underlying social control to the resumes, didactic materials and education programs, a species of “exercise of the controversial doubt” (KANT, 1999), as can be observed in the following tickets: “However next to this understanding of the social control where they operate the specialists in resume, it must also have a constant attempt to bring to a conscientious level and act against those occult ideological and epistemológicas assumptions that help to structuralize, the decisions whom they take, the contours that they project and the traditions that they select (...). A conscientious defense and a more realistic vision of education of the dialectic of the social change would contribute without a doubt to prepare the students with the instruments conceptual politicians and necessary to deal with this reality that they must face (pp. 156-157)”. In this direction, it fits to detach that, when considering that: “it must also have a constant attempt to bring the conscientious level and to act against those suposiçòes ideological (...)”, and when considering that one: “(...) conscientious defense (...) of the dialectic of the social change would contribute without a doubt to prepare the students with the instruments necessary ideological politicians and (...)”, would be Michael Apple “prescribing norms” for the analysis of the resumes and programs of education with sights if to oppose to the ideology that would be underlying to these, however becomes necessary to detach despite, in regards to the “exercise of the controversial doubt”, he would be contradictory to admit that such exercise could develop the critical character in an argument from the application of a prescribed norm, for more validity that such norm can have, rank that the doubt controversy would have as basic bedding exactly the removal of norms and/or constructed formulas of argument previously on the basis of object it to be analyzed.

In what it refers to the “Basic Principles of Resume and Education”, the argument developed for Tyler equally adopts a prescriptive character, character this however become explicit for the author when in the introduction of its book it affirms that its objective would be of: “to develop a rational base to consider, to analyze and to interpret the resume and the program of education (P. 1)”. More ahead the author indicates that: “(...) Not obstante, in order to plan an educational program and to envidar efforts for a continued improvement, it is very necessary to make a conception of the goals that if has in sight (p.2)”. To this respect, it fits to mention that what it seems, the objective of Ralph Tyler, although to differ from the one of Michael Apple, in the measure where Apple searchs to carry through “critical of the underlying ideology” to the resumes and programs of education and Ralph Tyler, looks for “to supply a rational base” to act on the resume, still thus becomes clearly the prescriptive character of the argumentativo tone of both authors from the analysis of the above-mentioned tickets, with the difference of that Tyler would be being more coherent with the ends that if she considers, since considers if arguing in the direction of indicating ways and/or prescribing procedures and effectively would make this, whereas, in Apple we can perceive a contradiction in the measure where it searchs to develop in the readers an exercise of controversial doubt but it induces in one given them direction in the measure where it prescribes norms for the atingimento of such end.


With the concern to find possible similarities between the curricular teorização of Michael Apple and Ralph Tyler, from excerpts of the workmanships “Ideology and Resume” and “Basic Principles of Resume and Education”, were looked to develop this assay in order to argue in the direction to demonstrate that in certain aspects the work of these authors possuía some points of convergence. After this briefing assay, some conclusions can be identified:

• In such a way in Ideology and Resume how much in Basic Principles of Resume and Education, the Resume would be perceived by the authors as a “structuralized and estruturante structure”, true matrix of meanings, felt and practical pertaining to school, fitting to who constructs to a function of demiurge of the concrete reality and symbolic gift to it in the pertaining to school environment, not only in the classroom, but also in the administrative-pedagogical instances.

• In both the authors we can identify “to a prescriptive” tone in relation to the ways according to which the educators would have to deal with the pedagogical and administrative practical resume and to develop its in the school. Apple, as we had the chance to perceive, prescribes a movement of “critical of the pertaining to school cultural politics”, in order “to disassemble the speech dominant” and to question the authoritarian character of the ideology that if would find to the resumes and programs of education underlying. Although to consider a critical attitude of and reflection concerning the pertaining to school contents mediated by the resumes, didactic programs of education and materials, when indicating as it saw of this process the “critical one of the ideology”, would be such author in certain way supplying of underlying form to this movement one determined ideology that would also imply in an attempt of aiming of the educators for such purpose, annulling therefore its “denunciation” of the prescriptive character of the theoretical chain of authors of the field of the resume such as Ralph Tyler. Tyler in turn, would on the basis of prescribe to the educators principles of election and organization of curricular cultural contents become for the election principles and organization psychology and philosophy, however the prescriptive character of the workmanship of Tyler does not meet underlying, but yes explicitado clearly, in the measure where this author considers the assistant exactly on the basis of referencial data of psychology and the philosophy, the educators who read this workmanship to define elements of a systematic planning pautado in educational objectives (TYLER, 1974; p. 1).

From this brief analysis one expects that the work has been able to contribute for a clarification concerning some still misty aspects concerning the workmanship of these two authors of enormous importance for the field of the resume, and, with certainty of not lesser importance for the practical administrative professor and of many educators in Brazil and the world. I am conscientious of that this briefing assay it does not have makes possible the understanding all the implications of the curricular teorização of these two authors, express in one vastíssima and excellent workmanship, in the truth the objective that was searched (if it was reached) when very can be identified with the concern to offer plus an attempt of understanding of the workmanship of these two authors.

APPLE, M. A economia e o controle na vida escolar e cotidiana. In: Ideologia e Currículo. São Paulo, 1982: Brasiliense
_____________. História do Currículo e o Controle Social. In: Ideologia e Currículo. São Paulo, 1982: Brasiliense.
_____________. O Currículo Oculto e a natureza do conflito. In: Ideologia e Currículo. São Paulo, 1982: Brasiliense.
BOURDIEU, P. Profissão de Sociólogo: preliminares epistemológicas. Rio de Janeiro, 2001: Jorge Zahar.
KANT, I. Crítica da Razão Pura. São Paulo, 1999: Martin Claret. SILVA, T.T. Documentos de Identidade. Porto Alegre, 2000: Autêntica.
TYLER, R. Que objetivos Educacionais a Escola deve procurar alcançar? In: Princípios Básicos de Currículo e Ensino. Porto Alegre, 1974: Globo.
Published: 2007-03-22
Author: Pablo Silva Machado Bispo dos Santos

About the author or the publisher
Pablo Silva Machado Bispo dos Santosa

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