Creating Thinking Schools To Prepare Learners Education Essay

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"I'm still waiting for the time to apply pi (Ï€) that has been taught to me since high school to my work." It's not uncommon such interesting thought occurs in most people who has graduated and gone into the working life. However that doesn't mean that what our schools have exercised for so many years, are rendered useless in real world; nor does it mean that our curriculum has failed to nurture us into a successful human being, we must always remember, that process of learning doesn't stop when we graduate, and the knowledge that we acquired are dynamic and flexible. More often or not, in the Asian education system we tend to choose to study or research into subject that we have ambition to have a job in, for example medicine, engineer, education, scientific research and various other fields, hence the structure of our foundation education system will lean towards functional and rigid curriculum that will shape and further specified to our need. We can relate this to a tree, when we are young, we start learning how to communicating, which is the basic of all knowledge (trunk); once we can get a stronger grasp of communicate our ideas, we will advance into more complicated and creative ideas such as mathematics, science, geography and so on to explain our doubt in general knowledge (branch); then we will again venture further into more specific field that we have all this while dream of, that could be being an educator, a singer, or any profession that will require us to refine our skills (flower/fruits).

First to get it out of the way, thinking school has been best defined as

"A Thinking School is 'an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular careful thought to everything that takes place.  This will involve both students and staff learning how to think reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities.  Successful outcomes will be reflected in the student's across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and cooperative learning skills, high levels of achievement and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning.  Benefits will be shown in ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.' (Burden, 2006)"

"A Thinking School is 'an educational community in which all members share a common understanding and vision of the nature of the highest quality learning and teaching for all pupils, and are committed to working together to make this vision a reality.  They think deeply about their work, reflectively, critically and creatively, and spend time discussing the best ways to co-construct both a meaningful and purposeful curriculum and associated activities, drawing on a wide range of learning opportunities.  They are committed to their own learning, keep abreast of research, learn from each other and are open to new ideas, considering these carefully before deciding whether they will usefully contribute to their vision for a thinking school.

A school which is successfully developing as a thinking community will strive to ensure that all pupils are developing and demonstrating independent and cooperative learning skills using a range of thinking tools and strategies.  The school will generate high levels of achievement and an excitement and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.  All members of the community will interact with and show consideration for each other, in such a way as to enable the positive psychological well-being of both pupils and staff to flourish. (Knapp, 2006)"


"Perhaps a more pertinent question is 'what is a non-thinking school?'  Isn't thinking a key component of most learning and isn't student learning the primary function of all schools?  Unfortunately, a great deal of evidence would appear to indicate that a significant proportion of pupils pass through their 15,000 hours of schooling without being required to do much real thinking at all.  External tests and examinations are prepared for and passed at every level by means of drills and rote-memory exercises with the result that a great deal of superficial information may have been accumulated without any reflection on its value or the meaning.  Meanwhile, the notion of an autonomous (and group orientated) learner and problem-solver has been completely lost.

The point here is not to blame schools, overwhelmed by the demands of covering a largely content-based curriculum and the potential costs of failing to do well in Ofsted inspections or being placed well down in unofficial media-based 'league tables'. Our suggestion is that there is a viable alternative which has its foundation in a return to the purpose of producing educated citizens of the world.

The indications are that placing cognition at the heart of the educational enterprise and developing ways of establishing explicit links between critical and creative thinking and high quality autonomous learning and pro-social behavior can have enormous benefits for the students, the ethos of the schools, and for the wider community.

Our definition of a thinking school therefore is an educational community in which all members share a common commitment to giving regular, careful thought to everything that takes place.  This will involve learning how to think, reflectively, critically and creatively, and to employing these skills and techniques in the co-construction of a meaningful curriculum and associated activities.  Successful outcomes will be reflected in students across a wide range of abilities demonstrating independent and cooperative learning skills, high levels of achievement, and both enjoyment and satisfaction in learning.  Benefits will also be shown ways in which all members of the community interact with and show consideration for each other and in the positive psychological well-being of both students and staff.

In order to achieve this goal, a whole school approach will be necessary whereby all stakeholders (including parents and school governors) are fully committed to the school's aims and how they can best be achieved.  Staff will need to be specially trained and methods will need to be introduced into the curriculum for teaching the skills of thinking and associated cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies. The widest possible application of these skills and strategies should underpin all other aspects of the curriculum and should guide behavior policies and expectations about human interactions at every level and care for the environment.

To become a thinking school requires (shared) vision, skillful in-service training and a great deal of hard work.  In one sense, the process is never-ending, but we do believe that schools demonstrating that they can match a certain number of basic criteria can rightfully claim to be a thinking school.  As an institution of higher learning which welcomes autonomous thinkers and learners as its students, the University of Exeter, through its Cognitive Education Development Unit, is happy to provide formal recognition to schools meeting those criteria and to make available to those schools a certificate and University logo as a mark of their recognition. (Burden, 2006)"

We are not to criticize that our current curriculum is too traditional and rigid, but we are to take from what's best from our existing system, and blend it to create a new thinking school to prepare learner for the future. Our current system is only as good if the learners' purpose of life has been achieved, but what if, we still feel inadequate? We still feel unfulfilled? Out high paying job no longer provide the same satisfaction when we were still young and thirst for blood (so to speak)? Our current education system is insufficient in providing us more information on this, this is not the fault of the system, rather it's because it's hindered by the limitless amount of information or knowledge that can't be taught in our schools no matter how long it is. Experience has to be earned, just like respect; one doesn't graduate with a doctorate degree and instantly get recognized as the best in the field.

Now that we have established that what we can teach has its limit, and that education system is very much dynamic and constantly changing, we can draft up a "blueprint of the mind", how do we help the learners to keep learning, improving and adapt the future in whatever endeavor they will be in. However we must be aware that the implementation of the programs is very important and could be the deciding factor itself as mentioned by Professor Bob Burden in Is there any such thing as a Thinking School ( Especially in our existing curriculum that the educators are bound to strict curriculum drawn up by relevant authorities, there are simply too many standards to be met and each of them are so different from each other. Hence the responsible in introducing and implementation will largely fall on the educators and time dependent. Nonetheless, we shouldn't let that become an excuse not to encourage our learners to be more flexible, creative or even independent. We must constantly remind ourselves that all of our civilizations are built on the foundation of exploiting knowledge around us, the time that we stop exploring, we remain stagnant, some other elements will catch up to us and surprise us; ultimately we will have to rely on our own wits and experience to confront what will be brought to us, and knowledge, or the ability to learn and exercise our knowledge will be the only reason we are still alive.

Obviously, time is the main obstacle, or to put it in a more positive tone, the essence; time IS the essence of all things. We must recognize the time we have to get the learners ready for the future, it's not much, but neither do every living things on earth; hence we should be enthusiastic in getting introduce new knowledge or skill set to the learners. The encouraging behavior will in turn push the learners to be more curious and adventurous, to explore their own mind. Brainstorming is what we call in the now adult corporate world, is a very good exercise to get the learners to express their creativity and explore their options beyond their own understanding. One's background, education, experience will affect our understanding of the semiotics around them, the broader and more open we are to foreign concept, easier for us to accept new knowledge. To be able to learn, we must first open up the learner's heart and mind, the learner will have to be willing to accept any foreign concepts that will be introduced to them, and process them properly, then choose to discard the information or exploit it. We have to be objective in providing the access to the knowledge itself with no discrimination from or towards.

There has been already various research done that shows educators and all the other stakeholders (the school, the policy makers, etc.) are responsible to ensure the effective implementation of the programs. Blindly pushing the envelope and pressuring the on the ground staff for the results more often or not will end up in the negative ways. Instead of exercising their power and authorities in pressuring the educators, who will be the key player in providing the learners the key to the meta-life knowledge (beyond academics), all relevant parties can work together and address their concerns and ideas in developing an effective set of curriculum that will prepare the learners for the unforeseen circumstances. As we have discussed above, there are more to life than just the one we were taught in school. Foreign knowledge is like the oxygen, we can't see it, we can't feel it, we can't hear it, but we know it existed and we need it; we won't want to be ignorant towards facts, but we don't want to be close minded towards fresh ideas too. Constantly discussing and developing our ideas, constructively criticizing will actually boost the learner's confidence so that improvement can be made.

If we were to draw out a curriculum that emphasizes the future, result based evaluation should not be considered as a priority. The existing system is already largely based on results based teaching, evaluation and then, elimination. We are using a very traditional system to judge, evaluate and prescribe what's best for the learners. Any anomalies during the test are to be ignored, creativity is mostly suppressed, and individuality is a rarity while uniformity is common. Each system has its merits of course, but if we could just blend the best of both worlds, the ultimate benefactors will be the learners, whom we have invested so much time and blood in. All learners must be aware that to be successful in life, chewing books and spitting out the exact content is not the only way; it's the easier way. To be able to understand the knowledge that has been passed to us, and to exploit it, and to explore the endless possibilities it will lead you to like the rabbit holes in Alice in the Wonderland, are the main objective here. Everyone can be forced to go from point A to point B, it's not the issue; however teaching the learners to explore the means to get from point A to point B, and enjoy the process of discovering the new adventure should be the emphasis in the new system. With educators' combined experience, I believe we can almost certain that point A will lead to point B or point C, but the freedom to express their creativity and the joy of new discovery is more than satisfactory than the dull and dry walk from point A that will unavoidably, unexcitingly, predictably ends up in point B.

As policy makers we must be clear that there are no amounts of programs that will guarantee a positive outcome from the learners. Each case should be categorized as individual and separate, we can even stretch as far as saying they are similar but they are never the same. Hence the various methods like David Hyerle's 'Thinking Maps', Edward de Bono's 'Six Hat Thinking', variations of Matthew Lipman's 'Philosophy for Children', Art Costa's 'Habits of Mind' and Guy Claxton's Building Learning Power to fulfill each and every requirement. To be able to apply these approaches to suit the learners is vital as well. Until we can establish a balancing point, where we can then develop our tailor made programs for specific groups of learner. The outcome will be the rewards, rather than the goal of the whole exercise. To satisfy ratings and standards set by policy makers should be secondary rather than primary target. We can almost conclude that the whole system that will rely on and depends on the learners, is only as good as the quality that we can make out of them.

Now that we've addressed the main concerns of the implementation of the programs, let's explore further into the process. Traditionally Asian's education systems are empirical and heavily result based. The interesting question is how to infuse the modern, fluid and creativity provoking genes with the traditional but proven system? The key word here is learning. The existing curriculum is designed to cater to most but not all students. Understandably this is further crippled by the number of educators versus the learners. However should we just admit our defeat and wave our white flags? No. The numbers of educators are actually limitless, if we were to look from another perspective. The higher achieving learners can actually be the one to inspire and to teach as well. With the similar experience it's easier for them to relate to each other, open up to each other. The learner emphasis system has to be able to enhance the learner's capacity to learn, from the basic communication and comprehension skill, to creatively express oneself and manipulate information into useful knowledge. All these areas will be put into practice with the help of traditional system: reading, writing, to count and to speak, and with the addition of discussion, debate and exchange of ideas. The dynamic of the student-teacher relation should remain fluid to ensure the learners have a venue to share their thoughts and for the educators to construct and improve the programs to better suit the learners.

To prepare the educators for future thinking programs we will have to expose the educators to several different approaches and tools or methodologies to future thinking. Months or even years are needed to properly prepare the educators to break away from traditional forcing book loads of information down the throat approach. Educators are to encourage to use a more inspiring, thought provoking approach to push the learners to always think outside the box. Engaging activities that will actively challenging the learners will be able to push for higher standards and output. However the question arise, will the preference of the educator over certain methodology forces the learners to mould themselves after the mentor? Perhaps we should put it this way, the mentor should be inspiring the learners to apply the methods according to their needs, but should not be too restrictive in allowing the learners to explore outside of the educator's comfort zone (ethically and morally). An inspiring figure will eventually be the example to the learners how particular methods be employed by the educators but not the limiting sample of how one methods should work.

Policy makers' roles are equally important as well. They have to realize the future socio-economy needs and the constantly changing trends of the market to properly draft out the program. Balance has to be maintained too in creating too many elite in one field and vacuum in another. Policy makers are to be aware of the future scenarios that will arise from the consequence of the very police made, and be ready to offer various options for preferable future and the practicality of enforcing it. Then evaluation will become the key factor in to judge and to modify the policy in make. Goal setting is to be practical and easy to understand so that educators and learners will be able to achieve them with proper effort. Goal will be constantly referred to to evaluate the progress. Evaluation will focus on the behavior of the learners toward the introduced programs, emphasis on their experience and attitude rather than result.

The process of becoming thinking school can be summarized into 3 phases, gathering information, evaluation and accreditation. To become a thinking school, one must get in contact with the relevant unit, pool in the resources to gather all the information required to be submitted to the development unit. Once that's done they will send an evaluation unit to grade and monitor the learners' progress and work on improvement, then finally accreditation. Accredited school will enjoy formal recognition from the industry; its learners will be identified with sharing of success with the school, an enhanced experience of the educators for their role in shaping the great minds for the future, incentive of becoming the yardstick for other interested thinking school to be and many more.

There are many approaches in creating a thinking school. Take Bloom's taxonomy of thinking skills, for example, Bloom's Taxonomy (Source: Bloom & Krathwohl 1956) where he identifies the 6 cognitive goals (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation) each with respective thinking cues. It's simple and clear approach has been used by many teachers in planning their teaching. Based on Bloom's approach one can teach the learners ability to investigate the world, to solve problems, to judge and the possibilities that the learners can apply the skills to are endless. Once the learners able to establish the baseline for ethics and moral issue, they will be able to absorb knowledge like a sponge and apply them to anywhere they want. Ultimately, the basic cognitive abilities and the more complicated learning skills are the only obstacle for the learners to obtain more knowledge.

Naturally the next question is how do we teach thinking school to the learners? Robert Fischer has highlighted the few approaches which are cognitive acceleration approaches, brain-based approaches, philosophical approaches and teaching strategies across the curriculum in his well written work "Teaching thinking and creativity-Developing creative minds and creative futures"- Fisher R. (in press) 'Thinking Skills', in Arthur J, Grainger T & Wray D (eds) Learning to teach in primary school , Routledge Falmer. One can be flexible and research into what works best for the student based on the regular evaluation done by the members. Deciding on few approaches will focus the school on enhancing the approaches and further polishing it for accreditation purposes.

Interestingly, Robert Fischer did mention of the use of ICT in empowering the learners learning of thinking skills. In these days and ages, ICT has been mostly viewed as convenience rather than hindrance to acquire new knowledge. Most schools are properly equipped with basic hardware and necessary software to conduct teaching and learning in digital manners. However the main criticism of the computer as a tutor model is that directed computer teaching does not allow children to be creative learners, able to think and make connections for themselves, and so is unlikely to support the development of higher order thinking. This can be transformed however by collaboration around ICT activities, which has been shown to have the potential to enhance the learning of transferable thinking skills- Fisher R. (in press) 'Thinking Skills', in Arthur J, Grainger T & Wray D (eds) Learning to teach in primary school , Routledge Falmer. This can be easily overcome with giving the learners the freedom to employ any tools that they need to solve problems that were presented. Freedom to use any means possible will allow the learners to exercise their creative mind to effectively and creatively overcome any issues that they will encounter in the future. While ICT is a pre-programmed tutor, it can be further develop into a very knowledgeable educator with vast amount of information as well. With the rapid advancement of ICT industry made every day, it won't be long before the wide adaptation of ICT in all school as teaching and learning school to our traditional system. With the vast amount of information accessed at such high speed nowadays educators have to be competent to keep themselves afloat among the information fed to them and ICT will be the vital tool for them.

One more thinking tool that we can teach to the learners is philosophical approach; in philosophy you learn how to think, not what to think. The more common expression is give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life. This effectively contradict the traditional approach that we've been so loyally stood by for so long, feeding and serving information and shove them to the learners' face, regardless of the interest of the learners, capacity and mostly ignoring their needs. This would work, if the evaluation of the learners' process was very predictable. But in this modern world, the high speed communication and the high volume of trading of information among each other will render any hardwired information to be only of little usage. Without the proper method to exploit this information, they will remain as simply, academic knowledge. The philosophy for learners will attempt to show the learners the paths to obtain result that they desire, but not leading them by hand all the time. The learners will acquire the ability to gather, evaluate, analyze and exercise the knowledge that they obtain in any way they want. The freedom in expressing their thought is the best method to get the learners to experiment with their practices in school into the real world. The more they exercise their freedom and creativity the more confidence they will gain. This will be very rewarding and beneficial to the student teacher relationship too.

Edward de Bono is regarded by many as the leading authority in the field of creative thinking, innovation and the direct teaching of thinking as a skill. He is equally renowned for his development of the Six Thinking Hats. The Six Thinking Hats method provides a practical method of constructive thinking. Each thinking role is identified with a coloured hat as shown below. Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved.

Another approach worth mention is the Six Thinking Hats (or modes) by Edward de Bono, the Six Thinking Hats method provides a practical method of constructive thinking. Each thinking role is identified with a colored hat as shown below. Six Thinking Hats is a simple, effective parallel thinking process that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. The White Hat calls for information known or needed, the Red Hat signifies feelings, hunches and intuition, the Black Hat is judgment -- the devil's advocate or why something may not work, the Yellow Hat symbolizes brightness and optimism, the Green Hat focuses on creativity: the possibilities, alternatives and new ideas, and the Blue Hat is used to manage the thinking process. Edward de Bono has done a lot of research into this area and his method has effectively mapped out the few important features how our brains work. Most academic approached will disregard unstable factor such as feeling, hunches and intuition but Edward embraces it, which is the truth where many of the learners will be experiencing in the future. Good decision can be made by following proper instruction but great decision will take into account the other factors. With Edward's approach the learners will not have to discard emotional response or negative response just to make a decision. To put on one's thinking hat as they say, is to carefully judge the situation and evaluate the leverage of all sides, then effectively employ the knowledge obtained on the subject.

The result of creating a thinking school has been varied from case to case but that doesn't mean that the method is inconsistent and shouldn't be encourage. It's the opposite. Socio economy background of each learner is different and most of the time it will be the challenge to align your teaching approach to meet the evaluation standards, while catering to the different needs of each learner. To be able to work closely with every quarters matter. The cooperation from all parties in ensuring the implementation of creating a thinking school should be encouraged and positive. Recognizing the challenges beforehand will adequately prepare the educators of what to expect ahead of them and address them one by one. 'Thinking skills' is a term often used to refer to the many capacities involved in thinking and learning. These skills are seen as fundamental to lifelong learning, active citizenship and emotional intelligence.- Fisher R. (in press) 'Thinking Skills', in Arthur J, Grainger T & Wray D (eds) Learning to teach in primary school , Routledge Falmer.


Burden, P. B. (2005). Is there any such thing as a Thinking School.

Retrieved from

Fisher, R. (n.d.). Thinking Skills. Retrieved from

Fisher R. (in press) 'Thinking Skills', in Arthur J, Grainger T & Wray D

(eds) Learning to teach in primary school , Routledge Falmer

TSI Approach Growing a Thinking Schools, from the Inside Out

Thinking Schools International. (n.d.). TSI Approach. Retrieved from

University of Exeter. (n.d.). Becoming a Thinking School . Retrieved




The wide adoption of Stufflebeam's CIPP model to a range of subjects is the obvious evidence that CIPP model is a very flexible and proven method of evaluation. Over the years many expert has been employing the CIPP (context, input, process, and product):

Context Evaluation helps decision makers to assess needs, problems, assets and opportunities while defining goals and actions. Planning decisions and context information are two key concepts addressed during context evaluations (Randall, 1969). Decision makers need to consider the selection of problem components and set priorities in terms of importance. They also need to determine the strategy or strategies that will be used to carry out or overcome these problem components. The main methods for data collection during context evaluations are research surveys, literature reviews, and expert opinions.

Questions asked as part of context evaluation are:

How was the needs assessment conducted?

What needs were identified in the relevant community and how pervasive and important are these needs to the relevant community?

To what extent are the goals, objectives and priorities of the court improvement effort sufficiently responsive to the assessed needs of the court and the problems underlying those needs?

Context evaluation help us set a baselines on goal setting, taking into consideration of the big picture, strategize the whole process to comply with the single achievable target. Context evaluation will take into account the experience of competitor in similar field and improve on the inadequate, solve the challenges and ultimately to thrive. In order not to get lost in the midst of execution, we need to prioritize and constantly realign ourselves with the evaluation and identify the key steps to achieving the common goal. There are a few typical questions asked as part of context evaluation and they are goal oriented. The long term strategies that will eventually lead to excel and achieving the goal set. It will constantly address the nature and scope of the problem.

Input Evaluation helps decision makers to assess plans for their feasibility and cost‐effectiveness for achieving planning objectives. It entails structuring decisions and action plans that depend on design information. This stage of evaluation generally sees decision makers setting up and confirming plans and budgets before actions are undertaken. This may include comparing competing plans, funding proposals, allocating resources, scheduling work and assigning human resources.

Questions asked as part of input evaluation are:

What strategies and activities have been implemented to achieve program goals?

Have alternative strategies and activities been considered? If yes, why were they discarded?

To what extent are the strategies, activities and procedural designs for implementing those strategies attuned to the goals and objectives identified in the needs assessment and context evaluation?

What budgeting plan has been adopted and to what extent does this plan effectively meet the needs of the program?

To what extent does the budget provide a cost-effective response to assessed needs and program goals?

An input evaluation on the other hand will assess which strategies or processes support the goals and objectives identified in the context evaluation. Hence the input evaluation is to measure the action plans executed. It is to be noted however everyone's socio background is different and will influence their experience hence there will be variations of input in order to achieve long term goal, thus the input evaluation is important to make sure each individual will be able to express their view explicitly and honestly. Reaching agreement over program activities, goals and outcome develops through collaborative discussion is also part of input evaluation.

Process Evaluation sees decision makers assess actions and implementations of plans that are being achieved. At this stage of an evaluation, the design has been structured and put on trial. Evidence is collected to determine the effectiveness of the objectives, and to help designers and evaluators to gauge the success of the process. Main methods for data collection are baseline observations, test results that can be compared against a time frame sequence, and comparing stated objectives with observed effects (Randall, 1969).

Questions asked as part of process evaluation are:

To what extent are the various procedures and activities being implemented as originally planned?

To what extent are the various procedures and activities using available resources in an efficient manner?

To what extent have the various procedures and activities been modified, or should they be modified, and why?

If procedures or activities have been modified, what were the consequences of such modifications?

What roadblocks to success were encountered and how were they overcome?

Process evaluation is a critical step in ensuring the process is to according to the prescribed action plans. Evaluation will be done in various stages of the process for better quality control. The objective of a process evaluation is to provide feedback about the progress of the activities and at the same time be effective in it, and to regularly keeping in check the responsibilities are being carried out as planned.

Product Evaluation aids in identifying and assessing outcomes, those intended and unintended, short‐term and long‐term. It also provides a platform for clients to stay focused on their goals and to gauge the effort's success in meeting targeted needs. The product information gathered from testing the completed designs contain evidence about the effectiveness in attaining short and long range goals, and can also be used to compare with that of another program or design (Randall 969).

Questions asked as part of product evaluation are:

Has the program successfully achieved its short-term and long-term goals?

What has been the short-term impact of the program on program participants, the court and the relevant community?

What has been the long-term impact of the program on the originally defined need, on the court and the relevant community?

Product evaluation is by no means the end of the CIPP evaluation. Product evaluation can be very informational method to project what are the factors that will affect the input, the process and the goal of particular project. With the result or product in hand it's easier to convince more effort or investment to be increase or modified. Product evaluation will for one examine the long-term impact of the program as well as the extent of the achievement which goals were set.

Not to be confused however, the four elements in the CIPP model are to be viewed as equally important in evaluation of learning and not to be taken as separate independent factor. This is evident as:

All four components of Stufflebeam's CIPP evaluation model play important and necessary roles in the planning, implementation, and assessment of a project. According to Stufflebeam (2003), the objective of context evaluation is to assess the overall environmental readiness of the project, examine whether existing goals and priorities are attuned to needs, and assess whether proposed objectives are sufficiently responsive to assessed needs. The purpose of an input evaluation is to help prescribe a program by which to make needed changes. During input evaluation, experts, evaluators, and stakeholders identify or create potentially relevant approaches. Then they assess the potential approaches and help formulate a responsive plan. Process evaluation affords opportunities to assess periodically the extent to which the project is being carried out appropriately and effectively. Product evaluation identifies and assesses project outcomes, both intended and unintended- Guili Zhang et al, Using the Context, Input, Process, and Product Evaluation Model (CIPP) as a Comprehensive Framework to Guide the Planning, Implementation, and Assessment of Service-learning Programs, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 15, Number 4, p. 57, (2011)

CIPP model is not a one off application however, it can be regularly use to monitor progress of the programs and improvement or further modifications can be made without negative impact on all the parties involved. The results of these evaluations can be combined to provide insight into the success of the overall program. We can always carry on the good elements and programs, and pinpoint specific situation where we can insert further modification to suit the localities and attributes of the participants.

We can practically use the CIPP approach to evaluate almost any program. Its effectiveness and simplistic approach is the key to do quantitative or qualitative evaluation. In industry like education where the curriculum has to be constantly evolving to fulfill the market need, CIPP can provide all the information it needs to gauge the curriculum and check the progress. CIPP evaluation model for our inspiration are manifold. In theory, CIPP model, after all, the scope of a general program evaluation, which naturally applies to curriculum evaluation. However, during application, it requires a combination of curriculum theory and curriculum practice, the specific circumstances of the transformation and improvement of specific work to reflect the curriculum of the particularity and uniqueness. Secondly, CIPP evaluation model in all aspects, especially the newly proposed sustainability, the promotion of concepts such as meaning, to be further studied in depth. In practice, CIPP evaluation model can be used as the basis of our analysis of the new education curriculum reform, and local programs, school-based curriculum reform, the basic framework of the program.

However, the increasing complexity of multiple goals and variables present proved to be increasing the complexity of the CIPP model proportionally. On the other hand, without the CIPP model, any error or failure might be overseen and regards simply as anomalies and no action plan to solve the challenges. No doubt, CIPP method has been in use for over 3 decades and it keeps proving itself to be extremely methodological approach to improve or introduce a new elements into a program, and it should be encouraged its usage to be applied to broader field, and keep exploring its endless possibilities of evaluation, to extract specific or general information of particular program to form effective quantitative or qualitative approach.


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EVALUATION, Annual Conference of the Oregon Program Evaluators Network, 2003

Guili Z., Nancy Z., Robin G., Debbie M., et al, Using the Context, Input,

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The purpose of the following essay is to review the newly implemented Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) in Malaysia based on the CIPP model.


In the year of 2011, Ministry of Education Malaysia has introduced the standardized the Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR). KSSR introduced to create a new generation of students who can find their own knowledge, in line with the development of technology in day life. Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools aims to produce students with balanced creative thinking skills, critical and innovative through communication, science and technology, physical and aesthetic development, the skills themselves, humanity and spirituality, attitudes and values.

The curriculum will be less examination-oriented and stresses on holistic development of the pupils which included new elements such as grooming of creativity and innovation, entrepreneurship and integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The curriculum is more to pupil-centered with an accent on developing the potential of pupils in creative thinking skills, learning in a fun environment, reasoning skills, and communication and ICT literacy. Country need to produce a generation of entrepreneurs and the future inventor of technology that can improve the level of Malaysia to developed countries.

Composition of the standard curriculum of primary school consists of the Basic Core Modules, Core Modules Themes and Elective Modules. The Basic Core Modules consist of basic subjects such as Malay, English, Chinese language and Tamil language, Islamic education, Moral education, Physical and Health education and Mathematics. Core Modules Themes consist of World of Science and Technology subjects, The World of Visual Art and The World of Music. The school must implement at least one language in Elective Modules according to the school in terms of willingness teacher preparation, request from students and school infrastructure.

This curriculum emphasizes the development of critical literacy. The pupils will be given opportunities to question and evaluate texts that they listen to, read or view. These opportunities are required for well personal growth and building self confidence in children. This is on the line with the goals of the National Philosophy of Education which seeks to optimize the intellectual, emotional and spiritual potential of pupils.



The CIPP model stated that context evaluation assesses needs, assets, and problems within a defined environment.

Evaluator Activities:

Compile and assess background information on the intended beneficiaries' needs and assets from such sources as health records, school grades and test scores, funding proposals, and newspaper archives.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Aims:

Use the context evaluation findings in selecting and/or clarifying the

Intended beneficiaries.

School health service is a service provided by the Ministry of Health Malaysia to pupils in school in order to ensure optimal health care. Priority is given to school children across Malaysia government assistance. The school health teams established to allow visits made to primary schools and secondary schools in Malaysia.

National Education Assessment System with the goal of reducing public examination pressure, strengthen the School-Based Assessment (PBS), improve student learning, assessment and ongoing holistic and build human capital more effectively.

Pupils who come from poor families will receive assistance of RM200 per year contributed by KUAM (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin). Pupils in primary schools also receive assistance school uniforms, shoes and school bags from the district education department. Typically, those who get assistance coming from familiar earning below RM500.

Evaluator Activities:

Interview program leaders to review and discuss their perspectives on the beneficiaries' needs and to identify any problems (political or otherwise) the program will need to solve.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Aims:

Use the context evaluation findings in reviewing and revising, as appropriate, the program's goals to assure their proper target assessed needs.

A meeting will be held after each assessment. The performance of students will be discussed in the meeting. Problems and the way to overcome will also discuss in the meeting too. Curriculum Improvement Program and Educational Progress (PKKP) is a program to improve educational performance is not so desirable of the previous assessment (1994).

The strategies of PKKP:

Coordinate all actions at all levels of education collaborative, participatory, and continuous.

Maximize the use if resources in an integrated and effective

Creating an effective monitoring system.

Evaluator Activities:

Interview other stakeholders to gain further insight into the needs and assets of intended beneficiaries and potential problems for the program.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Aims:

Use the context evaluation findings in assuring that the program is taking advantage of pertinent community and other assets.

There was no any interview session with other stakeholders. KSSR is implemented under education policy. All parties need to implement it according to predetermined policy.

Evaluator Activities:

Assess program goals in light of beneficiaries' assessed needs and potentially useful assets.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Aims:

Use the context evaluation findings-throughout and at the program's end-to help assess the program's effectiveness and significance in meeting beneficiaries' assessed needs.

Schools are provided with good buildings and equipment and complete, well-trained teachers and adequate resources.

The Ministry Education will implement 1BestariNet Services from January 2012 to all schools across the country. 1BestariNet a network "End to End" (E2E) for the purpose of teaching and learning as well as the management and administration of the school for 15 years 10,000.

There is a self-contained school in terms of physical facilities, but in the category of schools with low pupil. On the other hand, there are also schools that seem weak and obsolete, but grab the parents to enroll their children. In school effectiveness research, it was found that the school's performance more heavily influenced by the leadership factor compared with another variable.

In terms of space and size of land owned by the schools in our country is enough. There is a playground area and ample parking. In addition, most schools are equipped with multi-purpose hall and prayer.

Most of the schools in Malaysia are equipped with basic amenities such as electricity and water.

Evaluator Activities:

Engage a data collection specialist to monitor and record data on the program's environment, including related programs, area resources, area needs and problems, and political dynamics.

The exam board will conduct the operations of school-based evaluation from time to time. The exam board requests teachers to update the monitoring of school-based evaluation instruments. Subject teachers are required to complete the implementation of school-based evaluation form for each subject they taught. Monitoring officer will refer to the form of the completed implementation of school-based evaluation during monitoring. Monitoring will be conducted as necessary during the period. Monitoring officer asked to make entries based on such monitoring findings, improvements, and recommendations to the school for quality assurance.

Evaluator Activities:

Request that program staff regularly makes available to the evaluation team information they collect on the program's beneficiaries and the environment.

In the context of education, a post-mortem conducted to analyze student progress, identify weaknesses and causes to determine the strategies to improve. The academic audit meeting will be conducted right after a summative test.

Evaluator Activities:

Annually, or as appropriate, prepare and deliver to the client and agreed-upon stakeholders a draft context evaluation report providing an update on program-related needs, assets, and problems, along with an assessment of the program's goals and priorities.

The purpose of reporting day was to share with all parents/guardian with respect to the current performance of the students. This opportunity is also beneficial for teachers to discuss matters related to the problems of educations of pupils. Hence, the parents/guardians can find out in more detail the performance of their children's learning in school. It is hoped that the reporting day program will improve the quality of all students' achievements.

Evaluator Activities:

Periodically, as appropriate, discuss context evaluation findings in feedback sessions presented to the client and designated audiences.

Report Card Day is a guide to improving children's grade and self-esteem. Parents should attend to school to receive their children's report cards, talk with teachers about how their students are doing. The teacher will explain the strength and weakness of the children. They also can discuss whether any academic interventions are necessary.

Evaluator Activities:

Finalize context evaluation reports and associated visual aids and provide them to the client and agreed-upon stakeholders.

Management System and School Based Assessment (SPPBS) is an assessment system to facilitate updates Examination Board and include student performance data based on Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR). The system developed can be accessed online anywhere with internet location.

All the relevant information about student themselves, including current or previous class as well as the performance history of a student can be kept for reference as well as in print when it is perfect for the future through SPPBS. To study and comparison of performance statistics is also provided in this system to ease the process to improve the performance to be included in whatever grade performance or subjects during the performance.


The CIPP model stated that input evaluation assesses competing strategies and the work plans and budgets of the selected approach.

Evaluator Activities:

Identify and investigate existing programs that could serve as a model for the contemplated program.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Planning:

Use the input evaluation findings to devise a program strategy that is scientifically, economically, socially, politically, and technologically defensible

The implementation of KSSR brings about certain changes to the curriculum content and practices in the primary school system. The remodeling of curriculum content through the introduction of new subjects, emphases on sound pedagogical approaches and holistic assessment methods are among the initiatives outlined in KSSR.

KSSR is a curriculum design which based on 6 important areas: Communications; Spirituality; Attitudes and Values; Humanities; Physical Development and Aesthetic; Science and Technology and Personal Skills. KSSR use elements of Creativity and Innovation; Entrepreneurship and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) explicitly focusing on 4M (Reading, Writing, Counting and Reasoning). While, the previous curriculum KBSR is a curriculum design based on three areas, namely Communication; Human and Environmental pastures and Individual Self Development. This method uses the elements of the critical thinking and Creative with a focus on 3M (Reading, Writing and Counting).

Evaluator Activities:

Assess the program's proposed strategy for responding to assess the needs and feasibility.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Planning:

Use the input evaluation findings to assure that the program's strategy is feasible for meeting the assessed needs of the targeted beneficiaries.

Ministries of Education is developing teaching and learning strategies to guide educators. Among them are: pupil-centered, diversity of teaching techniques. Diversity of material resources, use accurate grammar and enrich the reading material.

MOE runs courses regarding KSSR for all teachers were involved in the implementation of the KSSR. Teachers also provided material support and access to the information from the MOE website.

MOE is pursuing a different strategy and preparation to ensure that KSSR can be implemented as intended. The strategies were: Orientation Course KSSR to Lead Coach and teachers for all subjects; Exposure Course KSSR to: Teachers and school administrators; State Education Department; Departments of MOE (IPGM, BPG, BPSH, JNJK, IAB, LPM, BBT).

Evaluator Activities:

Assess the program's budget for its sufficiency to fund the needed work.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Planning:

Use the input evaluation findings to support funding requests for the planned enterprise.

Ministries of Education runs courses for all teachers spread the KSSR was involved the implementation of the KSSR. Teachers also provided material support and can access information from the MOE website.

Ministry of Education has implemented a number of important assistance program included the Textbook Loan Scheme (SPBT). This program was launched for all government schools.

Evaluator Activities:

Assess the program's strategy against pertinent research and development literature.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Planning:

Use the input evaluation findings to acquaint staff with issues pertaining to the successful implementation of the program.

As part of efforts to ensure improved curriculum transformation and use Curriculum Primary Standards (KSSR) as change agents capable of achieving the objectives. The main coach first has given an orientation course.

As teachers complete the challenges, implement the KSSR, other orientation courses were also organized at the state level by leading trainers respective subjects.

Evaluator Activities:

Assess the merit of the program's strategy compared with alternative strategies found in similar programs.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Programs Planning:

Use the input evaluation findings for accountability purposes in reporting the rationale for the selected program strategy and the defensibility of the operational plan.

KSSR can motivate teachers and students to enhance creativity through learning and teaching approach as students cheer and added value elements across curriculum. Teachers are provided with a creativity guidebook to assist the implementation of learning and teaching methodology.

Evaluator Activities:

Assess the program's work plan and schedule for sufficiency, feasibility, and political viability.

The Yearly Lesson Plan is a planning of teaching for one year. The Yearly Lesson Plan should be prepared by the teacher at the beginning of the school session. The Yearly Lesson Plan contains a brief teaching and learning content based on national curriculum issued by the Ministry of Education.

Evaluator Activities:

Compile a draft input evaluation report and send it to the client and agreed-upon stakeholders.

Strategies of Ministry of Education runs will be carried out in public:

Face to face interaction

Information and Communication Technology: KSSR website, Curriculum Development Department website

Print media: newspapers, magazines, advertising

Electronic media: ASTRO, RTM, TV3

Publication of materials: brochures, book descriptions, CD

Evaluator Activities:

Discuss input evaluation findings in a feedback workshop.

Ministries of Education held a roundtable discussion to gather the views of various parties against the government's proposal to abolish the Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) on 19 and 17 July 2010. ( 05 July 2010, Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.)

KSSR implemented this year have received positive feedback from teachers and parents. This curriculum managed to increase the students' interest in learning English.

Monitoring of the views of the public through the print and electronic media will continue to be done by the ministry and currently many views and opinions are collected and these will be taken into account during roundtable discussion.

People who are interested can still submit their views through the customer service Ministry of Education at the address of [email protected]

Evaluator Activities:

Finalize the input evaluation report and associated visual aids and provide them to the client and agreed-upon stakeholders.

Management System and School Based Assessment (SPPBS) is made by Examination Board Malaysia to update and incorporate student achievement data based on Standard Curriculum for Primary School (KSSR). The system developed can be accessed online anywhere with internet service.

Reporting for each subject is based on the School Based Assessment (PBS) transit data online. Teachers must fully implement PS according to a monthly assessment to facilitate the process of data entry.


The CIPP model started that process evaluation monitor, document, and assess program activities.

Evaluator Activities:

Engage an evaluation team member to monitor, observe, maintain a photographic record of, and provide periodic reports on progress program implementation.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Managing and Documenting:

Use the process evaluation findings to coordinate and strengthen staff activities

Use the process evaluation findings to strengthen the program design.

Monitoring conducted by the Academic Management of the State Education Department. Monitoring should be done to ensure that the school establishes all matters relating to academic and personal development of students.

Mentoring is an attempt to ensure that there is an understanding among scores obtained by appraiser to have a degree of validity and reliability. Mentoring is carried out continuously along Main Coach assessment with a view to strengthening and improving the knowledge, understanding in respect of the assessment, the criteria referred to, evidence being sought, the instruments used and the method of presentation score.

Evaluator Activities:

In collaboration with the program's staff, maintain a record of program events, problems, costs, and allocations.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Managing and Documenting:

Use the process evaluation findings to maintain a record of the program's progress.

The school will determine some additional tasks for each teacher at the beginning of the year. Administration Senior Assistant in the school shall ensure that designated tasks have been completed in the specified time of period. This ensures the school programs will be carried out smoothly throughout the year. The Administration Senior Assistant will also discuss the problems faced by the teachers while performing their duties in the meeting later. Solutions also be discussed at that time whether to get suggestions from the headmaster or other teachers. The school will also discuss the school expenses in meeting. Money management expenses for the school equipment and teaching aids will be listed clearly.

All matters discussed in the meeting will be carefully recorded and filed for future reference.

Evaluator Activities:

Periodically interview beneficiaries, program leaders, and staff obtain their assessments of the program's progress.

Client/Stakeholder Activities - Managing and Documenting:

Use the process evaluation findings to help maintain a record of the program's costs.

Portfolio is a method of collecting student work in a systematic and evidence of student progress during the period of study. Portfolio shows the level of student achievement at the end of their learning. Evidence for the referral and evaluation, the aptitude information student will keep inside the portfolio. This is easy to let teachers who will teach in the following year refer to and