The Conceptualization of Educational Evaluation: An Analytical Review of the Literature

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Recent decades have been productive in the conceptualization of educational evaluation, trying to clarify its meaning and exposing the distinction between evaluation and other related concepts. This article reviews the evaluation literature through an analytical framework representing issues addressed by major evaluation approaches in education. The analytical framework is comprised of 10 dimensions referring to: (1) the definition of evaluation, (2) its functions, (3) the objects of evaluation, (4) the variables that should be investigated, (5) criteria that should be used, (6) the audiences that should be served, (7) the process of doing an evaluation, (8) its methods of inquiry, (9) the characteristics of the evaluator, and (10) the standards that should be used to judge the worth and merit of an evaluation. Some implications for the advancement of evaluation theory and practice conclude this review of the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalReview of Educational Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1983


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