chapter  31
22 Pages

Review of Science Education Program Evaluation

ByFrances Lawrenz

The purpose of this chapter is to review the field of science education program evaluation. To accomplish that purpose the chapter begins by defining evaluation, outlining the broad types of evaluation that can be undertaken and the philosophies that underlie the different approaches, and distinguishing evaluation from research. The chapter goes on to explicate the relationships between science education program funding and science education program evaluation through a historical approach, where the history of science education is juxtaposed with the history of evaluation and examples of the types of science education program evaluation that were implemented. Following this historical examination of the development process, different models of evaluation are discussed, and examples of how these apply to science education program evaluation are provided. This discussion contrasts the strengths and limitations of the different approaches and specifies the types of questions that the different models are able to address. Within the discussion of models, different methodological approaches are also contrasted. Finally the chapter concludes with some thoughts about the future of science education program evaluation.