ECS 210

Critical Summary – Michael Apple

Michael Apple is a professor in the Education faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also a leading theorist of Education. He has done a lot of work that looks into how education works, and how it is selective to certain groups. He looks at education as a political and ethical act that is only supporting specific individuals that belong to specific groups. According to Apple (2004), “these institutions and the manner in which they are organized and controlled are integrally related to the ways in which specific people get access to economic and cultural resources and power.” This is saying that it is important for teachers to realize the influence schools have on certain individuals, and how teachers need to make sure that this is not ignored. This distribution of power in society is very prevalent within schools. It is important that this is discussed in the classroom, and not shied away from.

Apple also seeks to uncover the complicated connections among knowledge, teaching, and power in education. This relationship is closely related to what has been mentioned above. He is looking at how the distribution of power in our society is connected to our methods of teaching, as well as how knowledge is shared and taken in by our students. Apple (2004) states there is a real relationship between those who have economic, political, and cultural power in society and the ways that education is thought about, organized and evaluated. This is very important to consider being a teacher. Teachers must realize that within our classrooms, there are going to be unequal distributions of power. This unequal distribution is going to affect how our students learn, and their abilities to focus on what they are being taught in school.

My plan moving forward with the first assignment is to find more articles related to Michael Apple, and his research in education. I hope to look more into the specific effects that Apple’s work has on specific groups of individuals. I will also look more into multiple concepts and topics in education. I hope to find something that is somewhat related to Michael Apple and his research. I will try to make as many connections between Apple’s research and work done by other scholars involved in education to wrap up my assignment.


Apple, M. W. (2004). Ideology and curriculum. Routledge.

ECS 210

The Tyler Rationale

In all of my experiences in school, I have very much been a part of the structured system that was stemmed from the Tyler Rationale. Throughout mostly all of my schooling experiences, particularly high school, it has always been outcome-based. For each class, we would start out by looking at a certain chapter in the textbook, take notes from what the teacher wrote down on the board, and then do a few assignments on that content. After a while, we (the students) would have to “memorize” what was given to us, and we would be tested on how well we knew the content. The Tyler Rationale is very similar to this type of process. The value is placed on how well the students did on the test. I have experienced a few other methods of learning, which stray away from this structure in the classroom, but for the most part, it reflected a lot of what the Tyler Rationale is suggesting to do.

There are both limitations and benefits of the Tyler Rationale being used in the classroom. A limitation of this theory is that there is too much value placed on the evaluation and assessment portion of the process, and no value placed on the social interactions that occur in schools. There are all sorts of reasons for a student to not do well on an assignment or exam. The Tyler Rationale doesn’t account for the multiple factors that may affect a child’s learning ability. Placing an overabundance of value on the outcome portion of the learning process is going to negatively impact those who are affected by these types of factors. The social interactions that occur within schools, in my opinion, should also be valued. However, in the Tyler Rationale, these interactions are not even considered. This, in my opinion, is a major limitation.

A benefit of the Tyler Rationale is that it is very organized and structured. Although this may be seen as a limitation in some cases, it will benefit certain learners that thrive in these types of conditions in the classroom. In my experiences with school, I personally thrived in the structured environment. I was not a visual or audible learner, and I was quite good at memorizing concepts and ideas. I enjoyed the note-taking process, which is weird, I know. However, even if I seemed to have success in this process of learning, I understand that there were some classmates of mine that did not. I saw my classmates struggle, not because they couldn’t grasp the content, but because they didn’t excel in the learning environment we were a part of. The structured environment could be seen as a benefit for certain types of learners, but I believe the importance is to ensure that our curriculum is allowing for all types of learners to succeed.

ECS 210

Common Sense

Kumashiro states that common sense is telling us what schools should be doing. The article also states that the insistence to use our common sense is just an insistence to view things the way that society has traditionally viewed things. This speaks to the way we are socially constructed. I believe that one’s common sense is purely developed through personal experience and the ways we have been influenced by those we associate ourselves with.

I think it is extremely important to pay attention to the common sense. I believe this because one can get caught up in making automatic decisions in their daily life just because that is how it has always been. However, if you identify what you believe to be common sense, you may start to discover that not everyone sees the world through the lens that you do. This is especially important because every individual goes through unique experiences. Therefore, it is important to recognize that not everyone’s common sense is the same, and it is critical that teachers teach accordingly.