As you will now appreciate from your study of Units 1-4 evaluation
is a systematic planned enquiry undertaken in order to enable
decision-makers to make judgements concerning the worth of an
educational policy, project or programme and to achieve certain
aims and purposes. Evaluation can be a costly waste of time
and effort, but when done efficiently, vigorously and with the
intention of improving educational provision, it is likely to
be worthwhile, for the new knowledge gained can be fed back
into the system to improve what goes on in the name of education.
But, quite often, the findings of evaluation are not implemented.
In this unit you will be asked to consider how evaluation
findings can be disseminated and to examine how we can ensure
that the evaluation findings are used by all concerned to
enhance school effectiveness.
Individual study time: 2 hours
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
state the importance of reporting the results of monitoring
and evaluation programmes to those who need to know
integrate the analysis of evaluation findings into
the school decision-making process
relate the quality of evaluation findings to the level
of effectiveness of the school management.
The importance of evaluation findings
The host of educational problems besetting schools today,
such as pupil wastage in terms of drop-outs, and the low standard
of education, all point to the need to overhaul our educational
systems and programmes. But before this can be done, we need
reliable and objective data about their current status. Through
regular monitoring, evaluation and reporting we will know
much better where we are and thus be able to decide what changes
are needed to bring about improvement.
As we have seen in the previous units, monitoring is the
regular collection of information about ongoing projects and
programmes within the school system with a view to determining
the nature and level of their performance. A report from a
monitoring team should be an objective account of progress
in carrying out plans, which provide a baseline against which
to judge the impact of inputs into the system under study.
Monitoring should be done mainly by school heads and inspectors,
but also by district or local government officials, and by
officials of the Ministry of Education.
Evaluation also concerns judgements made for the purpose
of improvement or accountability. It is also a formal process
which may be formative or summative in nature, but it is designed
for a particular educational purpose.
(1) List down some reasons why you think that reports from monitoring
or evaluation exercises are not always made widely available.
(2) What steps might be taken to rectify the situation?
There are a number of reasons you may have listed, including:
lack of a requirement to document and report findings
inadequate mechanisms to disseminate findings
need for secrecy when the findings are critical
paucity or unreliability of data which makes the evaluation
'knowledge is power', so the fewer people who know
The steps which need to be taken to rectify the situation
writing reports which can be read (that is, they are
brief and to the point and use intelligible language)
improving the means of production and reproduction
(which could include word-processing)
recognising that knowledge and power are for sharing
ensuring accuracy and reliability in our reports, through
setting and demanding high standards.
In order to appreciate how to improve the dissemination and
use of evaluation findings, it will be helpful to recall the
steps which lead up to the planning and implementation of
an evaluation project, and the preparation of the report.
We have seen (in Unit 3) that before embarking on evaluation
there are certain points that we need to clarify, including:
for what purpose is an evaluation required?
who will organise the evaluation and who will participate
and in what ways?
what are the possible modes of evaluation?
what are the appropriate tools of evaluation?
how will the data be recorded and analysed?
who will use the information?
what are the best ways of bringing the information
The information gathered should be seen as relevant to the
purpose of the evaluation. The credibility of an evaluation
process and its findings can be established in relation to
1 It has to pass scrutiny amongst all those concerned with
the overall quality of schooling.
2 It needs to be seen to be credible in the school, for example,
in respect of what is being evaluated.
3 Finally, it has to satisfy people that any conclusions drawn
derive from good quality information and are valid and reliable.
Identify the qualities of a good evaluation report. Use your
school experience and knowledge of reports by inspectors to
answer this question.
You will probably have included in your list qualities such
as: systematic, comprehensive, relevant, usable, valid, reliable.
It must also be readable!
If the purpose of an evaluation is absolutely clear it is
more likely that the correct information will be gathered
to enable conclusions to be drawn and recommendations made
as a basis for decision-making. It is therefore very important
that after an evaluation is done one or more meetings between
the evaluation team and the rest of the staff are held, during
which the findings can be discussed before the release of
the evaluation report. Results could also be disseminated,
for example to parents, through other means, such as a newsletter
or a briefing at one of the PTA meetings.
Evaluation findings by external agents, such as inspectors
or researchers, can help to justify the huge amounts of money
spent on education every year, as well as to clarify the progress
of major innovations in education such as the introduction
of a new curriculum. This highlights how important it is for
school heads to be able to analyse evaluation findings and
decide whether, for example, the advantages claimed for a
particular innovation which formed the focus of an evaluation,
are valid enough for them to continue to use it or perhaps
to adapt it more precisely to the school's needs.
The relationship between evaluation and effective management
We can illustrate the relationship between evaluation and
the use of evaluation data or findings for effective school
management by considering a number of examples.
Often school enrolments fluctuate from year to year; many
factors may account for this. It might be difficult for a
head to explain such a phenomenon, let alone suggest solutions,
unless some evaluation is conducted and the findings disseminated.
Such an evaluation might enable factors like school performance
in public examinations, distance of school from the village,
safety and security of pupils, availability and quality of
transport, movement or transfer of parents, etc., to be taken
into account in an analysis of the situation. There are also
the issues of drop-outs, early leavers, and drop-ins in schools,
particularly in towns and cities, which result in erratic
fluctuations and movements. A school may wish to evaluate
the influence of some of these factors to try to rectify the
situation. On the other hand, the government might decide
to evaluate the situation in a sample of primary schools,
the results of which may provide useful conclusions and solutions
which may be applied to all schools.
(1) Using your school experiences, show in a table the enrolment
of pupils for the last two years by class. Indicate the following
as a percentage of the total:
- drop-outs or early leavers;
- drop-ins or repeaters;
- pass-out rate;
- drop-out rate.
(2) How do these figures compare with those for other schools
in your locality? To what extent would you say your problems
are common or unique?
You may have difficulty in completing this activity in the
suggested time given, if your school records and data are
not well kept or up-to-date. You may not have been aware of
the importance of such records nor how to keep them correctly
maintained, in which case it could be that you and your staff
should try to obtain more training in record-keeping. You
may also feel that training is required in the use of evaluation
instruments and in the interpretation of data and in the use
of evaluation findings.
Evaluation can be used to assess leadership effectiveness
in a school. Firstly, you may need to consider what leadership
effectiveness is, and the extent to which it is determined
personal characteristics of the leader
nature of the situation
personal characteristics of subordinates.
Next you would need to develop evaluation criteria in order
to assess your own leadership effectiveness together with
that of your other promoted staff. The chart opposite suggests
five criteria for judging leadership and you might like to
develop this by adding more evaluation criteria. If you were
to undertake such a self-evaluation exercise, how might such
findings be useful to you as a school head in improving your
Fig 7 Assessing leadership effectiveness
|1 Readiness for responsibility
2 Ability to delegate
4 Interest and motivation
5 Knowledge and expertise in education
Evaluating staff performance
A school head is also likely to be involved in assessing the
performance of staff and using the evaluation findings to
help improve school effectiveness.
Use the assessment tool presented below in Fig 8 to assess the
performance of staff in your school. You may wish to add additional
performance criteria as appropriate.
Fig 8 Assessing staff performance
|1 Relationship with other academic staff
2 Relationship with administrative staff
3 Relationship with pupils
4 Superior-subordinate relationship
5 Oriented to the goals of the school
6 Acceptance of responsibility
7 Allocation of time
8 Communication skills
9 Ability to motivate others
10 Participation in co-curricular activities
Monitoring school effectiveness
Your studies of this unit, and of others in this module, will,
we hope, have convinced you of the importance of monitoring
and evaluating and of using the findings to bring about school
improvement. We have provided only a few examples.
There are of course many areas where an evaluation exercise
is likely to produce findings which could inform the school
decision-making process and contribute towards school effectiveness,
for example in:
In this unit, you should have noted that monitoring school
effectiveness involves the regular review of all the facilities
of your school. Through the collection and analysis of relevant
information and the setting of appropriate criteria, you may
draw conclusions about the extent to which the mission, objectives
and targets of your school are being achieved.
Fig 9 relates monitoring and evaluation to
decision-making, which is the essence of any effective managerial
Fig 9 Monitoring, evaluating and decision-making
Prepare a one page proposal for an evaluation of one specific
area of concern in your school. Include in your proposal the
- title (this should indicate the purpose);
- key questions;
- identification of evaluators;
- methods of data collection;
- reporting procedures.