Curriculum Evaluation

Issue 7

“Curriculum Evaluation”

Giorgos Flouris
Page 93-125

Abstract

This article describes how curriculum evaluation is conducted and it delineates the variety of factors that ought to be taken into consideration during this process. In addition to the factors of curriculum evaluation the difficulties encountered before, during and after the evaluation process are identified and discussed. These difficulties include the definitions of terms such as curriculum and evaluation, how can evaluators maintain their objectivity, which evaluation approach is more valid and other related matters.To this end, various types of approaches are discussed such as the formative and summative evaluation, the scientific, the humanistic, the responsive, the ecological or naturalist evaluation as well as other. Furthermore, the characteristics of curriculum evaluation criteria, such as measurability, validity, reliability, etc, are briefly analyzed.
In order that a more objective curriculum evaluation be conducted certain processes are proposed and analyzed, such as collecting data from a variety of sources and at multiple levels, the application of general and indigenous criteria, the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, techniques and stages.From the various stages that were reviewed for curriculum evaluation the following six were selected and proposed. These stages of curriculum evaluation are:a) The preliminary stage, (which includes four substages-the preassessement of curriculum, the conceptualization of assessment, the preassessment of cost and of human resources for curriculum evaluation and the selection of staff-) aims at conducting a preassessment of the curriculum used and of the educational system; b) the planning stage of curriculum evaluation which consists of two substages-(the selection of curriculum evaluation design and the planning of the actual process of curriculum evaluation-) refers to the planning processes regarding “what” and “how” curriculum will be evaluated; c) the implementation stage of curriculum evaluation and collecting of the data during which the evaluation criteria are applied and the data are collected; d) the organization and data analysis stage which includes two substages-(organization and analysis)- purports to organize and decode all collected data; e) the stage for the interpretation and reporting of data during which the data are interpreted and reported; and f) the management of data and metaanalysis stage (which includes two substages- data management for curriculum evaluation and postevaluation-) attempts to make recommendations for improving the whole evaluation process as well as conduct follow up procedures for the revalidation of the results.Finally, curriculum evaluation attempts in Greece are briefly discussed and studies are reviewed which show that no systematic evaluation procedures have taken place to evaluate the national curriculum by the state. The few studies conducted by individual researchers, analyze some of the factors and processes of the curriculum in Greece. This lack of curriculum evaluation in Greece created an unbridgeable gap which conserved and reproduced the structures of the national curriculum in Greece instead of reforming and changing it via an ongoing curriculum evaluation.