Evaluation is an essential component of the curriculum process. Whenever we have a curriculum we want to know how well it worked and what the students learnt. There are ways to answer these questions, but some are more effective procedures than others. Much of what passes as evaluation in curriculum studies today is poorly conducted and sensationalist. We must ask a key question before commencing evaluation in curriculum – what do we want to know from our evaluation? Then we can use appropriate evaluation procedure and make useful judgments.

This presentation addresses some of the key issues in the evaluation process evident today. It also addresses some key questions in evaluation in curriculum studies such as the role of standardized tests in evaluation in curriculum studies [tests that don’t measure curriculum and can’t assess student performance on a curriculum, but standardized tests can be very influential in government policy e.g. SAT, GRE]; the role of formative Vs summative assessment; Assessment data used for unintended purposes e.g. NAPLAN scores and MySchool in Australia; the international movement towards stands based assessment; evaluation in the school effectiveness movement; and evaluation data used for international comparisons such as PISA that influences government ‘policy’ so that government says “we’re doing poorly so we need to fix our curriculum”.