ERIC Number: ED182317
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Paradigm Conflict in the Assessment of Educational Reform: Evaluation as Social Critique.
Paulston, Rolland G.
Traditional quantitative-experimental models of evaluation have failed to contribute to educational reform; they should be supplemented by qualitative-subjective models, which can be grouped under the rubric of naturalistic, or non-experimental evaluation. This naturalistic approach does not attempt to be value-free; rather, it recognizes that evaluation is highly political, trying to balance the conflicting values of evaluators, policy-makers, and educational planners, by stressing context rather than method. Existing evaluation models can be grouped under two research paradigms, which relate social change theories to educational reform: equilibrium/liberal and critical/conflict. The former is associated with traditional criteria like measurement, cost-effectiveness, and social efficiency; the latter assumes political conflict and stresses balance of power and social justice. Conflicting theories of social change influence both the definition of educational reform and the choice of evaluation method, standards, and outcomes--a distinction which metaevaluation has ignored. In conclusion, a dialectic strategy is recommended that evaluators can choose between the two paradigms and among the methods within paradigms. (CP)
Publication Type: Reference Materials - Vocabularies/Classifications; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Naturalistic Evaluation