An investigation into an application of personal construct theory to curriculum evaluation.

  • Paul W. Rolph

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


The concern for quality in English education has resulted in pressure on educational institutions to evaluate their curricula as a matter of normal professional practice. This thesis consists of a critical account of the development, design and testing of a curriculum evaluation process which could be used by teaching staff to evaluate the curricula of their own institutions. Curriculum problems are practical ones, decisions have to be made about what to do. It is argued that a deliberative approach is an appropriate one for such problems. That is, an approach which identifies the issue(s), seeks to discover the perspectives of those involved, generates a range of possible solutions, and leads to decisions as to what solutions might be most appropriate for that context. In 1976, the author had developed an evaluation process based on personal construct theory and the related repertory grid methodology. He found this process encouraged active participation, together with the identification and exploration of the perspectives of those involved. The experience gained in this research encouraged the author to investigate whether personal construct theory and repertory grid methodology might assist in the design and development of a curriculum evaluation process for use in a wider range of educational settings. In this research the author has been able to demonstrate that personal construct theory and repertory grid methodology has assisted in the design of a curriculum evaluation process and that the process has been successfully carried through in a range of educational settings. However, the author did not find that extending the process by giving participants a statistical analysis (in a particular form of a cluster analysis) of their own data added to its usefulness.
Date of Award1985
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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