ERIC Number: ED177223
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Foundations of Educational Evaluation.
Ellett, Frederick S., Jr.
The structure and foundations of educational evaluation activities are explained. Evaluation theories are divided into descriptive or empirical, and normative. Descriptive theory is defined as explaining phenomena, rather than being based on normative premises. It is referred to as educational evaluation analysis and is classified as a social science activity which studies a particular set of occurrences. Normative theories are based on defining the applicability of certain educational activities and the methods by which these activities should be conducted. They are used to make value judgments of programs or activities, and to prescribe the criteria which govern an evaluator's responsibilities. Five kinds of normative theories are discussed: (1) empirical hypothesis testing; (2) use of the principles of measurement and research methodology; (3) organization of the principles to approach the evaluation problem; (4) provision of useful information to decision makers; and (5) rational and ethical evaluation. It is concluded that educatioal evaluation is a practical activity which should be grounded in empirical tests and rational and ethical principles. (MH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (63rd, San Francisco, California, April 8-12, 1979)