03 SES 12 B, Inclusion and the Complexity of Curriculum Evaluation
Although roughly 100 years have been passed since Curriculum Studies was born as an academic discipline, but it seems that its domains have not experienced a balanced development. For example while we have witnessed a booming growth in areas such as theorizing, conceptualization, planning, design, and recently internationalization, but some areas seem to have remained underdeveloped among which we can name curriculum evaluation. As an instance, though Reconceptualization Movement extended the borders of Curriculum Studies and bestowed upon us a deeper understanding of curriculum as a dynamic phenomenon (and not just a written text), but we have not yet developed an all-inclusive model to evaluate curriculum as a dynamic and multi-layered phenomenon. In the last decades, we have mostly used several popular models namely Tyler (for evaluating predetermined objectives), Scriven (for uncovering emergent outcomes), CIPP (for evaluating curriculum as a system), Educational Criticism and Connoisseurship ( for an artistic evaluation of educational phenomena), but none of the aforementioned models are comprehensive enough to take into account the numerous dimensions of curriculum (written, operationalized, experienced, tested, and flourished) as a dynamic, emergent and non-linear phenomenon. This is while curriculum scholars have mostly reached an unwritten consensus that curriculum can no longer be considered just as a written product which can be designed and manufactured by top scholars sitting at high positions and then mechanically implemented and tested step-by-step by school practitioners. On the other side, complexity theory has radically changed our knowledge of the world's physical and social phenomena in the last recent decades. As a result, I believe that curriculum can be deemed as a chaotic and complex phenomenon due to characteristics like non-linearity, unpredictability, emergence, instability, self-organized adaptiveness, context-based nature, bifurcation, sensitivity to initial conditions, and so on.
This study used theoretical inquiry as the research strategy to produce a new conceptual structure for comprehensive evaluation of curriculum. Hence, twelve curriculum evaluation experts and practitioners were selected purposively to help develop and modify the model gradually. The final model emerged out of continuous debate and modification by the focus group.
In this paper, I try to put forward a new model for curriculum evaluation, entitled ECCP (Evaluating Curriculum as a Complex Phenomenon), out of my perception of curriculum as a complex event. In the above mentioned model, various dimensions and aspects of curriculum (written, implemented, experienced, tested, and flourished) are evaluated by three criteria (intended ideals, implicit elements, and overlooked aspects) which finally forms a 15-cell matrix. I firmly believe that evaluating and assessing curriculum as a complex phenomenon requires answers to the questions posed by each cell. It is also endorsed by the model that any evaluation plan ought to locate curriculum in context to offer meaningful results and findings.
-Glatthorn, Allan A; Boschee, Floyd, Whitehead, Bruce M; Boschee, Bonni (2016). Curriculum Leadership; Strategies for Development and Implementation. SAGE Publishing. - Eisner, Elliot W. (2002). The Educational Imagination; on the Design and Evaluation of School Programs. Merril Prentice Hall. - Frye, Ann W. & Hemmer, Paul A. (2012). Program evaluation models and related theories; AMEE Guide, MEDICAL TEACHER, 34: e288-e299. - Wm. E. Doll, Jr. (2008). Choas and Complexity Theories. in The SAGE Eneyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, Lisa M. Given(ed). SAGE Publishing. - Waks, Leonard (2014). Complexity Theory in Eneyelopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy. D. C. Phillips(ed). SAGE Publishing. - Phelps, Renata(2014). Complexity Theory. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Action Research, David Coghlan and Mary Brydon- Miller (Eds) SAGE Publishing. - Davis, Brent and Sumara, Dennis (2006). Complexity and Education; Inquiries into Learning, Teaching and Research, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. - Pinar, William (1995). Understanding Curriculum; An Introduction to the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses, Peter Lang Publishing, Incorporated. - Groves, Richard W. and Short, Edmond C (1991) Theoretical Inquiry; Components and Structure in Forms of Curriculum Inquiry. Edmund C. Short. State University of New York Press. - Erickson, Lynnette and Pinnegar, Stefinee (2010). Experieneed Curriculum. in Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies Craig Kridel(ed). SAGE Publications, Inc. Williams- Janet Penner, (2010). Tested Curriculum. in Eneyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, Craig Kridel(ed). SAGE Publications, Inc.
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