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Evaluation is balancing the worth of something within a schema of significance.



Evaluation is about the way a learner values something within a particular context[1] and involves learners in a 3-step process of collection, analysis and interpretation.

Possible strengths

The careful use of evaluation allows learners to develop a fuller understanding of their own knowledge schema (the basic ideas that underpin their beliefs) and the different knowledge schemas of other members of their community of practice. e.g. When learners justify their choice of key terms (see the Identifying Key Terms Lesson Plan) they review all the experiences and constructs relevant to their understanding of key terms - rejecting those that no longer fit the new knowledge and building a new schema. The further effort of justifing why they agree or disagree with other learners' choices of key terms brings them to confront the validity of these beliefs - perhaps causing the schema to change again.

Possible weaknesses

In most instances, evaluation tends to be included in scientific experimental models[2] - where Empirical standards of accuracy, objectivity and validity guide the learners' experience with the object under investigation.

When evaluation is used outside its usual spaces the standards of the discipline may not give so clear-cut instruction for learners to handle the object under investigation. e.g. In evaluating an argument about the "real" meaning of the Eureka Rebellion for Australians, an historical inquiry is likely to use textual material from that period as the object being analysed for interpretation. Textual analysis, however, is only in some instances performed using an Empirical model (e.g. counting the occurrence of words in texts over time to determine the importance of that word in the contemporary linguistics), and constantly changing standards within the academic discipline make validation of results seemingly impossible. In these instances of evaluation the interpretation is reduced to an opinion and becomes open to being discredited - particularly where the demands of curriculum suggest that students should be achieving a particular understanding.

Internal Links

Identifying Key Terms Lesson Plan

Identifying Key Facts Lesson Plan

Identifying the Source Lesson Plan

Developing evaluation criteria

Applying evaluation criteria

Judging the value of information and ideas

Recommended Reading


  1. 'Evaluation.' Wikipedia. Accessed June 13, 2012 via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaluation
  2. 'Introduction to Evaluation.' Social Research Methods website. Accessed June 13, 2012 via http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/intreval.php

Further Reading

External Links


--Beth Kicinski 14:54, 14 June 2012 (EST)

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