Chapter Four: Evaluation of Values
Values have cognitive and affective bases. These involve behavioural components because a value perception when activated leads to action.
Besides subjectivity of the teacher, the other major problem is that student responses in paper and pencil tests, may not be true. There are two other inherent problems: the competitiveness among the students of showing the better development of value; and difference in their behaviour in a different setting. Nevertheless the complexity in the nature of value assessment should not prevent the teacher from assessing the value.
In the participating countries, evaluation is treated as an integral part of education at all levels of school education. Many have been using formative and summative evaluation practices and frequently the emphasis has been on continuous evaluation of cognitive abilities. Of late the need for evaluation of pupils' affective qualities is being felt. In some countries the Ministries of Education (e.g. India, Thailand, Philippines) have delineated certain core values and are requiring the schools to develop them through relevant integrated or other appropriate approaches.
It is against this background that the participants discussed the issue of evaluation of values. The evaluation procedures/practices/strategies followed for evaluating affective qualities are not only diverse but are also at varying stages of evolution, development and implementation. Evaluation techniques for assessing value learning outcomes depend upon the contextual situations, and the nature of the values themselves. The actual evaluation of value outcomes takes the form of obtaining, as objectively and reliably as possible, a measure of the actual and natural behaviour of the learner in different situations manifesting the value of interest.
The participants felt that as far as the conceptual awareness and understanding of different values is concerned, it is possible to assess them reasonably well by using paper-and-pencil tests specially designed for the purpose. Similarly, the opinions, convictions and attitudes of students towards values can also be reasonably assessed through carefully developed attitude scales (Likert, Semantic Differential) and other kinds of rating scales, inventories, checklists, opinionnaires/questionnaires and projective techniques. However, the assessment of the extent of value internalization as reflected in actual behaviour in daily life contexts is difficult but not impossible to evaluate.
The participants discussed the different procedures/practices/strategies that could be used for evaluation of values. It was felt that the practice of using formative, diagnostic and summative evaluation may be followed for evaluating outcomes in both cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Such evaluation practices should also be continuous, comprehensive and improvement oriented. The assessment of the extent to which the student has imbibed values is very complex and entails the use of many kinds of information and data collected through various test and nontest ways.
The following approaches/techniques/strategies were discussed and suggested by the workshop:
Paper and Pencil Tests
Science teachers can also take into account the participation of the pupils in numerous science activities and projects. These afford opportunities to observe the development and reflection of affective qualities of behaviour such as, co-operation, neatness, self-discipline, concern for others, appreciation of the contributions of scientists, compassion, suspension of judgement until enough evidence is available, pursuit of truth, perseverance, open-mindedness, ecological concerns and protection of environment, use of science and technology for promoting human welfare and happiness etc. The teacher has to record her observations and use these as supplementary information for evaluation of values.
Development and Use of Evaluative Criteria
One of the approaches is to develop evaluative criteria for assessing each value that is deemed desirable. This involves the identification and listing of behaviours which are indicators of values internalization. Such criteria are to be developed for each value. The development of such indications of behaviour should be based on as many contexts (both general and science specific) as possible. The teacher can use these with students and assess their values development. She can prepare value profiles year after year for each individual and for the class as a whole. These would help in understanding the progress of each student, as well as the class in the development of values. Such an analysis and study would give feedback to the teacher and also help in the larger context of the evaluation of the total programme of values-oriented education.
To measure the progress of values development, some considerations are relevant. These include questions such as:
Respect for others as a value. Some indicators of behaviour:
The programme of values-oriented science education has also to be evaluated. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on the effectiveness of the programme using appropriate methodology, tools and techniques, may be undertaken in a phased manner.
Problems in the Evaluation of Values
The workshop was cognizant of the problems associated with evaluating values. The discussion on the subject led to the identification of the following:
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