Discuss how the choice of the CIPP model of Management-Oriented Evaluation Approach as the evaluation model of choice, reflect on an elementary school principal’s curricular supervisory philosophy.
CIPP stands for context, input, process and product, which generally refer to the core concepts that this evaluation model assesses. Context evaluation assesses needs, problems and opportunities which serve as the bases in defining goals and priorities, as well as in making critical judgments as to the significance of outcomes. Input evaluation, on the other hand, looks at the alternative approaches in meeting needs as a way of planning programs and allocating resources, while process evaluation assesses the implementation of plans which serve as guides to activities and which eventually facilitate the explanation of outcomes. Finally, product evaluation tries to identify both intended and unintended outcomes in the interest of keeping the whole process on track and in determining effectiveness.
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Developed by Daniel L. Stufflebeam, et al. in 1971, the CIPP model of evaluation has been regarded as one of the best if not the best among contemporary evaluation models. With the four key evaluation approaches employed together, people implementing and developing programs, especially those at the supervisory levels and policymakers, are able to conduct evaluations in the interest of helping initiate, develop, and implement sound programs or other relevant services. Further, the approach facilitates strengthening of existing programs and services; meeting the accountability requirements of supervising groups or individuals; disseminating effective practices; and, contributing to knowledge in the area of service (ibid.).
CIPP as a choice
In a 1990 study of school principals of the Yale public schools, Anderson, S. (1990) cites two barriers to the school principals’ achievement of their supervisory leadership goals of helping improve teachers’ performances among other things. First barrier is the lack of researches or scientific studies that would conclusively show the direct relationship between student achievement and supervision of teachers. The second barrier is the incompatibility between contradicting concepts of teaching and the process of teacher evaluation, or the so-called artistic mode versus the scientific mode.
Faced with this dilemma, school principals need to employ evaluation approaches or models which they deem best, primarily considering the achievement of their goals as administrators or managers, while not sacrificing their roles as leaders of these teachers who need guidance to further improve their competencies and skills in teaching.
Furthermore, in the same study by Anderson (1990), the principals use different ways and approaches to evaluate as part of their supervisory role. Most of the principals use observation as the main approach, as well as utilizing lesson plans, complaints, out of classroom behaviors and other observable factors from which they base their judgments. The principals also perceive their role as supervisor differently, with most of them regarding the evaluation exercise as part of administrative monitoring for accountability, as well as for the improvement of efficiency and maintenance of standards, among others (ibid.).
The CIPP as an evaluation model has become popularly known at a time when school boards, administrators, principals and other stakeholders recognized the limiting perspectives of evaluating programs and projects by merely assessing the attainment of objectives. This somehow discounts or ignores, unknowingly or knowingly, the other aspects and factors that interdependently play roles influencing the outcomes. Also read about "Contemporary theory of management"
The choice of the CIPP model to evaluate reflects a principal’s curricular supervisory philosophy that is inclined towards looking at the various aspects and factors that interplayed to shape the outcomes, rather than merely looking at the results versus the set objectives which is rather myopic and limited. By looking at the four key areas, which are context, input, process and products, the principal is provided with a good understanding and clearer perspective on the dynamics of the program, which consequently allows for the development of further improvement measures.
Stufflebeam, et al. (2003), emphasize that the CIPP model is primarily a tool for evaluation that aims to improve rather than to prove. It can therefore be said that a principal, by choosing to use the CIPP model for evaluation, seeks to improve rather than prove something, or, to use the process as fault-finding, as some teachers perceive evaluation to be.
Although the CIPP model of evaluation is still a “work in progress” (Stufflebeam et al., 2003, p.1), its being a comprehensively useful tool to evaluate is evident. By providing a useful framework of evaluation, CIPP, when used by school principals, significantly reduces perceived biases and unfounded assumptions especially among the teaching force. It further allows the principal to have a thorough analysis of the whole situation, as well as clear perspectives as to the options available for further improvement.
It is therefore ideal that principals be skilled in the use of the CIPP evaluation model to put it to maximum use.
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 Squires, Huitt and Segars 1988, as cited by Anderson, S., 1990
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