The Analytical Aspects of Evaluating On-Going Programs.

by Marjorie L. Rapp

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Three reasons are given to explain why educators misinterpret the concept of analysis as it is applied to the problem of understanding the operation of an educational system. First, they have been schooled in the principles of classic research design, and many educators remain hung up in this process, despite its often being inappropriate as an evaluative technique. Second, analysis has often been represented as being esoteric and requiring the use of sophisticated techniques, tremendous information systems, and large computers. And third, a strong belief exists that "education" is a human process and cannot be quantified. The problem really lies in the third point: education cannot be quantified and for that reason analysis is inappropriate. This paper addresses this problem, suggests ways educators can meet the analysts more than halfway, and stresses the importance of concentrating on the most pressing problems, one at a time. 6 pp.

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