The outcomes and impact of school based evaluation

  • Robin Groves

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study concerns school based evaluation; evaluation of a school or some aspect of its operation which is carried out by the teachers and other interested members of the school community. When the decision to evaluate and the control of the evaluation are at the school level a complex, dynamic situation is created. The teachers in the school concurrently have roles as evaluators and as those being evaluated, as well as continuing in their other normal teachers’ roles. The history of educational evaluation in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia is traced. An outline is given of the developments in the more traditional methods based on measurement of achievement of objectives on the one hand, and on the ‘informed judgement of experts’ on the other. It is suggested that improvements in both methods have led to a constructive method of evaluation with its roots in both traditions. Some checklists and guidelines for planning evaluations are also reviewed. Interviews were carried out in an A.C. T. high school which had completed an evaluation almost a year earlier. Twenty people were interviewed: some teachers, some parents and a member of the Evaluation and Research Section of the A. C. T. Schools Office. All had been involved with or affected by the evaluation. If an evaluation is initiated and controlled at the school level many new complexities are introduced into the situation. The process of the evaluation becomes of paramount importance. The way the evaluation is initiated and planned, the way information is collected and analysed, and the way decisions are arrived at are uppermost in participants’ minds. Probably the early stages are the most crucial in (ii) establishing the climate and structure for the evaluation, and in developing participants’ skills. The effects on staff relationships, staff/parent relationships and the general climate of the school are what the participants are most aware of. There usually are outcomes of a school based evaluation ~sing from recommendations, but these often are more subtle than those of a traditional evaluation by outsiders. Changes may also occur during the evaluation, rather than at the end after the presentation of a report as was more traditionally the case. There is a place for school based evaluation in Australian schools, but it should be recognised as a complex process which may involve participants in new roles in an extremely dynamic situation.
    Date of Award1983
    Original languageEnglish

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