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Alternative Paradigms in Educational Evaluation (A Position Statement)

Amarel, Marianne; Bussis, Anne M.; Chittenden, Edward A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Change Strategies, Educational Assessment, Evaluation Methods, Models


The assumptions inherent in the notion of educational treatments and behavioral outcomes—specifically 1) the assumption that educational "treatments" and "outcomes," not teachers or students, are our only concerns; and 2) the assumption that educational treatments and outcomes are best stated in concrete, behavioral terms, ignoring the learners' understandings and intentions—are disputed. Reconceptualization of the entire methodological paradigm is urged, "predicated on an interactive notion of education" concerned as much with the meaning of behavior and learning as with the occurrence of behavior and the content of learning. Alternative models of educational evaluation based on the neophenomenological tradition are discussed and encouraged. The term "evaluation" as a cognitive process of making decisions based on information is also discussed and the use of the term to refer to information-gathering only is questioned.

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