Program Review And Evaluation Education Essay

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It has been noted that the environment within which individuals operate greatly affects their performance in various aspects of life. A human being is the sum total of the kind of daily interactions that he engages with his environment. The student in a school is exposed to a number of environmental variables that have a direct bearing on how he performs. Among these are the teachers, the administration, the students, the non-teaching staff, as well as instructional materials and programmes (Schnidler, 2008). In order to find out how these variables affect student performance, our school established a school climate committee with the mandate to survey, interview, observe or use any other study method. The study is meant to target all the climatical variables identified.

Teachers play a very important role in shaping the destiny of students. The way they interact among themselves, with the administration, with the students and parents can greatly affect student performance (Bulach et al 1995). Studies have established that a teacher who does not have good mastery of content is likely to have problems in content delivery in the classroom thereby negatively affecting student performance. This is because students have the tendency of using the knowledge obtained from teachers in responding to situations including examinations in school. A teacher who does not prepare and plan for his lesson is also likely to underperform in class to the detriment of students. Similarly, a teacher who is less friendly will be feared and disliked by the students, hence affecting their reaction to and performance in his subject. This gives justification for the evaluation of the teacher as part of the school climate.

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The school administration is yet another important component whose actions can affect student performance. The administration is charged with the provision of leadership to teachers, students and staff. A weak school administration would easily fail to supervise teachers' performance, which would consequently lead to poor performance by teachers and students. The quality of the administrators and the structures they put in place will therefore directly or indirectly affect student performance. School administrators who reward excellence would easily help improve teacher and student motivation and make them perform. Evaluating the quality of school administrators is therefore important in establishing their effect on student performance.

The students themselves form part of the school climate. A student who is ambitious and self-driven is likely to performance better than one who is not. Interpersonal relationships between students are equally important because students who are bullies would easily scare off others, while friendly ones are able to establish supporting relations with others. A student who is ready to learn would easily perform better than one who is not prepared. Evaluating student behavior would therefore help understand how it affects their performance.

The non-teaching and support staff similarly form an important segment of the school environment. These are responsible for providing services in areas such as the library, laboratory, secretarial, systems administration and so on. The quality of these people and their commitment to their duties greatly affects student performance. Highly trained library personnel would for example assist students with their research work hence making them perform better. Evaluating their performance would help establish their role in student performance.

The school has a number of materials and equipment used in preparing students for various curriculum activities. These form part of the school climate. They include text books and other teaching and learning materials; sports and recreation facilities and other programmes. Students in a school with relevant instructional materials are likely to perform better than those in a school without such materials. Sports equipment and activities a school has determines their performance in both curriculum and co-curriculum activities. It is important that these too should be evaluated to gauge their impact on student performance.

Evaluation Theory

I order to carry out an evaluation of the effect of school environment on student performance, an appropriate evaluation theory, the objectives-oriented Methods theory propounded by Tyler (1942) was selected. Tyler holds the view that curriculum evaluation must be based on a hypothesis. This evaluation process could therefore be based on some hypotheses. For example, a competent teacher is able to make students perform well. A committed administration and support staff can help improve student performance. A well-focused student is able to perform well. All these are hypotheses which could be proved after the evaluation process.

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Tyler's objectives-oriented curriculum evaluation model begins with the formulation of educational objectives, classification of objectives and defininition or refinement of the objectives on the basis of measurable behaviour. Situations in which these types of behaviour can be displayed by the students are identified and methods of data collection on these behavior selected and tried. The most promising evaluation method is selected based on preliminary results and ways of data interpretation and use devised (Tyler, 1942).

The general objective of the study is to determine the effect of school climate on student achievement. From this general objective, a number of specific objectives were identified. In the first place, the study set out to identify the effect of the behavior of the teacher on student performance. It also aimed at establishing if the type of school administration had an influence on student performance. The study was also interested in finding out if the student as part of the school climate affected his own performance and that of other students. The actions of the non-teaching and support staff and how they affected student performance was also investigated, as was the effect of the materials and equipment used in curriculum implementation. All these were the general and specific objectives of the study, as advocated by Tyler.

The performance of students in order to evaluate each of the variables could be considered next. In the first place, the performance of students in tests and examinations would help gauge the teacher's competence in content delivery (Jacobs and Chase, 1992). Massive failures relative to the student's entry behaviour would indicate the teacher was not competent. Students who exhibited repulsive tendencies towards a certain teacher would be an indication that the teacher was not friendly, and this would be reflected in their performance. Teachers' instructional materials would be looked at. If it is found out that some of them do not have lesson notes, lesson plans and other documents, it would be concluded that their level of delivery in class was below par.

Students' performance in interpersonal relationships would also be used to gauge the effect of the climate on their performance. Students who cannot express themselves in public are an indication that the climate did not help improve them. The teachers might have been a problem. Transition rates from one level of education to the other would also be used to evaluate the school climate. High transition rates would imply good performance while low rates would imply poor performance (Provus, 1971). Student performance could also be assessed from their ability to make and sustain meaningful social relationships. Students who are rebellious or those who exhibit unruly tendencies in and out of school would indicate lack of failure to change as a result of schooling, which is a sign of the failure of the school climate to improve them.

Failure to complete assignments, especially those to be researched upon from the library is an indication of lack of commitment by the library staff to help students. Such students are likely to score low marks, or fail to complete their assignments. Sometimes, students might fail to accomplish their assignments due to lack of resources in the library. This is a school climate that has the ability to determine whether the student performs well or poorly.

Evaluation Design

Statement of Purpose

This evaluation will provide the school climate committee with information on the effect of school climate on student performance in order to find ways of improving the school curriculum for purposes of meaningfully engaging the school climate to enhance student performance.

Evaluation Goal

The goal of this evaluation process is help curriculum developers to find ways of integrating the action of the school environment into curriculum implementation for purposes of making it contribute meaningfully to student performance.

Audience Definition

A number of people will form the audience for this evaluation process. The first will be the students who will readily be found in schools under investigation. They will be asked questions, given questionnaires to fill or simply observed. Their progress records will also be perused. The teachers will also be found in the schools. They will be asked questions, complete questionnaires and have their teaching materials looked at. They will also be observed as they go about their duties. The administrators will be subjected to the similar treatment, besides observing the way they interact with teachers and students. The non-teaching and support staff will also be investigated. Generally, this evaluation process will target those people who constitute the school climate. Research ethics will demand that the researcher first informs them about the purpose of the process, and enlist only those willing to participate. Confidentiality will also be guaranteed. The method of investigation will depend on the type of person in the audience.

Outcomes

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The participants will give information which will enable the committee to evaluate the effect of the school climate on student performance.

Methods

A number of methods will be used to gather data and before it is evaluated. These include interview, use of self administered questionnaire, observation and perusal of secondary data found in documents.

Questionnaire

The questionnaire will consist of closed ended multiple choice questions, numeric open-ended and text open-ended items. It will also make use of Rating Scales to indicate the participant's degree of satisfaction, as well as Agreement Scales based on the Likert Items to indicate to what extent a participant agrees or disagrees with certain statements. Frankel and Wallen (1992) vouch for this instrument because it is usually carefully designed.

Interview Schedule

A face-to-face interview with some participants especially those in administration will be conducted. (Pritchard, 1992) says an interview is a technique of collecting information where the researcher is the interviewer with the respondent from the sample being the interviewee. The face to face interview is hoped to yield high quality data, reduce ambiguity and ensure a high quality response rate. Besides, further probing will be made to clarify on grey areas.

Observation Schedule

Some of the respondents will be observed as they go about their duties in the various departments. Observation will rely on the researcher's personal intuition, ability, understanding and interpretation. Observation will however be done on a very limited scale. The researcher will observe the employee's handling students, teachers and school documents and equipment.

Sampling

Each one of the groups will be provide a sample for the study. 70% of the students, teachers, administrators and non-teaching staff will be randomly sampled.

Utilization of Evaluation Findings

The evaluation findings would be useful to a number of players in different ways. These players include students, teachers, parents, school administrators, and curriculum developers and future researchers. Ideally, the results of the evaluation process should be communicated to various stakeholders (Greene, 1988) for purposes of helping them improve what they have been doing wrongly. If communicated to the students, they should be able to understand that they are part of the school climate and the way they relate with each other and their attitude towards teachers, the administrators and the school in general can make them perform well or poorly. These will help them change their attitude. They would be able to understand that they are accountable for their own performance and hence take corrective measures.

The teachers are the ones who are directly responsible for implementing the curriculum through which students' performance is gauged. The results of the evaluation process would help them improve on their methods of lesson preparation and classroom delivery. The teachers' interaction with the students, their attitude towards their performance of duties would also be improved. It is hoped that the improved performance on the part of the teacher would consequently translate into improved performance on the part of the students.

The school administrators are the ones responsible for providing an enabling environment within which all other players interact. The findings of the evaluation process would help them identify weaknesses in the system and consider ways of fixing them. They would for example enhance teacher supervision to be sure that they prepare well for the lessons and deliver the correct content in the right way in class. They would also make sure they hire only competent teachers and other staff in school. This is because the school environment has been found to have a direct bearing on student performance.

Parents are among the key players in the school environment. Their actions and relationships with their children can directly affect their performance. They would for example be able to provide their children with school requirements which would make them settled in the school and cause them to concentrate on their work and perform well. Similarly, a child who gets proper parental support with their school work is likely to enjoy schooling which can easily translate into good performance. It is therefore true to say that the results of the evaluation process, if communicated to the parent, can make them know the value of supporting their children for improved performance.

The results of this evaluation process are useful for social learning and communication purposes (Patton, 1991). There are people who are interested in carrying out further research on school related aspects. The evaluation findings could form an important reference material from which further researchers could cite. It can be used by researchers in other fields for comparative purposes.

Curriculum developers would also find the results of this evaluation helpful. It is possible that there are some aspects of the school environment which they might not have factored in the school curriculum initially designed. If such aspects are uncovered by this evaluation, it is possible that the developers could seek for ways of integrating them in future curricula in order to improve student performance.

Generally, the school climate has a number of factors which affect student performance. As a community of people with disparate behaviour and attitudes, there is need to establish the degree to which each one of them affect student performance with the view to taking corrective measures by all decision-makers within and outside the school environment.