Encyclopedia of Science Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Richard Gunstone


  • Edith GummerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6165-0_47-2

The etymology of the term evaluation is quite clear, and the Old French core provides the foundation of its definition. With “value” at the core, an evaluation is the systematic process by which the value of something is ascertained. Typically, in science education, evaluation focuses on a judgment of the value, merit or worth of a person, product, plan, proposal, program, or policy. Fournier (2005) defines evaluation as an investigation that combines the collection of evidence with synthesis relative to some standard or normative judgment to result in a determination about the condition of an entity. The value element is what makes evaluation differ from assessment and what forms the theoretical grounding by which the evaluation is structured. Evaluations range from an objective, goals-focused process to an examination of the lived experiences of the participants in the context being evaluated. The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation has developed a set of...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Lawrenz F, Huffman D (2006) Methodological pluralism: the gold standard of STEM evaluation. New Dir Eval 2006(109):19–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mertens DM, Hopson RK (2006) Advancing evaluation of STEM efforts through attention to diversity and culture. New Dir Eval 2006(109):35–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Raudenbush SW (2005) Learning from attempts to improve schooling: the contribution of methodological diversity. Educ Res 34(5):25–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Yarborough D, Shula L, Hopson R, Caruthers F (2010) The program evaluation standards: a guide for evaluators and evaluation users. Sage, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The National Science FoundationArlingtonUSA