, according to Popham (1972) curriculumrevolves around “objectives that an educational system hopes its learners willachieve” (p. 96).
By the 1980s, the concept of curriculum expanded even more with changes in socialemphasis. For example; Tanner and Tanner stated that “Curriculum is the learningexperiences and intended outcomes formulated through systematic reconstruction ofknowledge and experience, under the auspices of the school, for the learners’continuous willful growth in personal-social competence” (Tanner and Tanner, 1984 p. 102). Besides, Jon Wiles and Joseph Bondi not only described curriculum as planfor learning but also considered the curriculum as a goal or set of values, which areactivated through a development process culminating in classroom experiences(Wiles and Bondi, 1985). Similarly, Hilda Taba(1962) put forward a similardefinition of curriculum. She defined curriculum as a plan for learning and lists theelements:
A curriculum usually contains a statement of aims and of specific objectives;it indicates some selection and organization of content; it either implies ormanifests certain patterns of learning and teaching, whether because theobjectives demand them or the content organization requires them. Finally itincludes a program of evaluation of the outcomes. Geneva Gay (2000), writing on desegregating the curriculum, offered a broadinterpretation of curriculum: If we are to achieve equally, we must broaden ourconception to include the entire culture of the school- not just subject matter andone content.
2.5. Curriculum Evaluation
It is a fact that evaluation, for a wide range of reasons,is an inseparable part of our life. In terms of education, evaluation is one of the basic components of any curriculum and plays a pivotal role in determining what learners learn. It can be stated that the main purpose of evaluation is to obtain information about student and teacher performance along with classroom interactions. In the same way, the aims might also include to identify strengths and weaknesses of particular activities in a program. According to Ornstein and Hunkins (1998), ‘Evaluation is a process that we carry out to obtain data, to determine whether to make changes, to make modifications, eliminations and/or accept something in the curriculum. This continuous evaluation implies that there should always be preparation for revision of all the elements in the curriculum plan (Brown, 1989). He points out the importance of evaluation and states that “The ongoing program evaluation is glue thatconnects and holds all the elements together. Without evaluation, there is no cohesion among the elements and if left in isolation, any of them may become pointless. In short, the heart of the systematic approach to language curriculum design in evaluation- the part of the model that includes, connects and gives meaning to all of the other elements” (p.235).
There is no widely agreed upon definitions of evaluation. While some educators relate evaluation with measurement, the others define it as the assessment of the extent to which specific objectives have been attained. Some view evaluation as primarily scientific inquiry, whereas others argue that it is essentially the act of collecting and providing information to enable decision-makers to function effectively (Worthen and Sanders, 1998). Though it can be said that evaluation can refer to small-scale activities which involves basically a teacher and hisher students, it can also refer to large-scale studies which involves many schools and teachers. Despite this lack of consensus about the phenomenon, Talmage (1982) defines evaluation as the act of rendering judgments to determine value-worth and meritwithout questioning or diminishing the important roles evaluation plays in decision making.
Cronbach (1991) makes a distinction among three types of decisions that requiresevaluation:
1) Course improvement: deciding what instructional materials and methods aresatisfactory and where change is needed.
2) Decisions about individuals: identifying the needs of the pupil for the sake ofplanning his instruction, judging pupil merit for purposes of selection andgrouping, acquainting the pupil with his own progress and deficiencies.
3) Administrative regulation: judging how good the school system is, how goodindividual teachers are, etc.
Evaluation was conceptualized by Ralph Tyler (1991) as a process essential tocurriculum development. The purpose of evaluation was stated as to determine theextent to which the curriculum had achieved its stated goals. Evaluation was the basisfor the identification of strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum, followed by replanning,implementation and evaluation (Gredler, 1996). Similarly, Worthen andSanders (1998) stated that evaluation is the formal determination of the quality,effectiveness or value of a program, product, project, process, objective orcurriculum. In addition, there are several judgment methods that are used forevaluation during this determination process. These are mainly determining standardsfor judging quality and deciding whether those standards should be relative orabsolute. Secondly, collecting relevant information and finally applying the standardsto determine quality. Hence, in the light of these definitions related to evaluation, itcan be concluded that Program Evaluation is therefore a systematic inquiry designedto provide information to decision makers and/or groups interested in a particularprogram, policy or other intervention. This inquiry might be exemplified as ‘Howdoes the program work?’, ‘Does the program produce unintended side effects and soon?’ (Cronbach, 1980, p. 87) Program Evaluation generally involves assessment ofone or more of five program domains. a) the need for the program b) the design ofthe program c) the program implementation and service delivery d)the programimpact or outcomes and e) program efficiency (cost effectiveness). Similarly, thenature of program evaluation is described as
Program evaluation is not determination of goal attainment
Program evaluation is not applied social science
Program evaluation is neither a dominant nor autonomous field of
evaluation (Payne, 1994, p. 15).
Mackay (1994) states that in the field of foreign language teaching, the term ‘programevaluation’ is used to a wide variety of activities, ranging from academic, theory -driven research to informal enquiries carried out by a single classroom. Thus,evaluation may focus on many different aspects of a language program such ascurriculum design, classroom processes, the teachers and students.
2.5.1.The Needs for Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation is a central component of the educational process. Thus, it is certainly acritical and challenging mission. Kelly (1999) defines curriculum evaluation as theprocess by which we attempt to gauge the value and effectiveness of any particularpiece of educational activity. The two common goals of program evaluation, as statedby Lynch (1996) are evaluating a program’s effectiveness in absolute terms and/orassessing its quality against that of comparable programs. Program evaluation notonly provides useful information to insiders on how the current work can be improvedbut also offers accountability to outside stakeholders.It aims to discover whether the curriculum designed, developed and implemented isproducing or can produce the desired results. The strengths and the weaknesses of thecurriculum before implementation and the effectiveness of its implementation can be highlighted by the help of evaluation (Ornstein and Hunkins, 1998). Thus, asystematic and continuous evaluation of a program is significant for its improvement,which ultimately leads to the need for curriculum evaluation.
2.5.2. Summative Evaluation and Formative Evaluation
A different way of analyzing curriculum evaluation is in terms of the timing of theevaluation, the ways in which it is made, the instruments used and the purpose forwhich the results are used.
n (1991) introduced into the literature of evaluation the concept of Formativeand Summative Evaluation. Formative evaluation requires collecting and sharinginformation for program improvement. While a program is being installed, theformative evaluator works to provide the program planners and staff with informationto help adjust it to the setting and improve it (Morris and Fitz-Gibbon, 1978).Formative evaluation is typically conducted during the development or improvementof a program or product or person and so on and it is conducted often more than once(Scriven, 1991). The purpose of formative evaluation is to validate or ensure that thegoals of the instruction are being achieved and to improve the instruction if necessaryby means of identification and subsequent remediation of problematic aspects(Weston, Mc Alpine and Bordonaro, 1995). Therefore, it is apparent that formativeevaluation provides data to enable on-the-spot changes to be made where necessary.Students’ learning activities can be refocused and redirected and the range and depthof instructional activities of a curriculum can be revised in ‘mid-stream’ (Tunstalland Gipps, 1996). Hence, it applies to both course improvement and students’growth, although some writers tend to concentrate only upon the former (Pryor andTorrance, 1996). In brief, formative evaluation is conducted during the operation of aprogram to provide program directors evaluate information useful in improving theprogram. For example, during the development of a curriculum package, formativeevaluation would involve content inspection by experts, pilot tests with smallnumbers of children and so forth. Each step would result in immediate feedback tothe developers who would then use the information to make necessary revisions.
Summative evaluation, on the other hand, is conducted at the end of a program toprovide potential consumers with judgments about that program’s worth or merit. Forexample, after the curriculum package is completely developed, a summativeevaluation might be conducted to determine how effective the package is with anational sample of typical schools, teachers and students at the level for which it wasdeveloped (Worthen and Sanders, 1998). The summative evaluator’s function is notto work with the staff and suggest improvements while the program is running butrather to collect data and write a summary report showing what the program lookslike and what has been achieved. Summative Evaluation is the final goal of aneducational activity. Thus, summative evaluation provides the data from whichdecisions can be made. It provides information on the product’s efficacy. Forexample, finding out whether the learners have learnt what they were supposed to learn after using the instructional module. Summative evaluation generally usesnumeric scores or letter grades to assess learner achievement.While formative evaluation leads to decisions about program development includingmodification, revision and the like, summative evaluation leads to decisionsconcerning program continuation, termination, expansion, adoption and so on.
Audiences and uses for these two evaluation roles are also very different. Informative evaluation the audience is program personnel or those responsible fordeveloping the curriculum. On the other hand, summative evaluation audiencesinclude potential consumers such as students, teachers and other professionals,funding sources and supervisors. However, it is a fact that both formative andsummative evaluation are essential because decisions are needed both during thedevelopmental stages of a program to improve and strengthen it and again when ithas stabilized to judge its final worth or determine its future.
2.6. Different Evaluation Approaches
Evaluation models differ greatly with regard tocurriculum evaluation approaches. Due to this diversity in curriculum evaluation, it is not possible to come up with only onesingle