In the interview, On Educational Evaluation: A Conversation with Ralph Tyler (1983), postdoctoral fellow(at the time) Jeri Ridings Nowakowski at Northwestern University talks to “The Father of Education Evaluation” about his journey through education curriculum and instruction reform through the use of evaluation. Tyler also speaks on the use of the word “evaluation” and “assessment” and tries to draw a distinction between the two in relation to his work in the field of education.
Q:”…Educational evaluation has taken on a life of its own and is really not attending to curriculum.”
Tyler: “That happens in all professional fields; medical research has forgotten about the patient, who has become clinical material…just as only children can learn; you can’t learn from them. So there is all this evaluation business up here without considering what it is the learner is doing. The same problem exists with social work; social workers sometimes think of the client as having no minds of their own.”
This interview is rather historic…but makes some interesting points. There must be some consideration for what the “learner” or the modern day client/patient/child is doing to reach the expected outcomes and results. Many new models, such as collaborative, participatory, and empowerment evaluation do just that, consider the client, and I think Tyler would be pleased with this progression.