One of the problems in developing an analysis of evaluation in contemporary education research is that the term itself has been stretched and stretched to encompass an everwidening range of activities, undertaken for an ever-increasing range of purposes. In so doing the notion of evaluation has, for many people, become part of their daily vocabulary. As recently as the mid-1970s evaluation seemed an esoteric term for a specialised and specialist activity. Yet ten years later teachers and all in the educational sphere had absorbed evaluation into their routine discourse. Just as the term curriculum became common usage for those who had previously talked of courses, or syllabi, or even timetables, so evaluation established itself in the landscape of educational talk.