Evaluating the effectiveness of the new biology curriculum for fourth grade students in Iran.

  • J. Hashemi-Tafreshi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Educational systems in developing countries are under the influence of factors which have critical effects on curriculum evaluation and interpretation of its effects. A model for curriculum evaluation was developed, in the present study, to evaluate the effectiveness of a new biology curriculum implemented in 1974 in the Iranian system of education. The target population were 14-15 year-old students and their teachers at the first year of the secondary education in four state capital cities and 43 schools. The teachers had previously been to an in-service course. The curriculum material consisted only of a single textbook for students. The model for curriculum evaluation was a summative model. It was developed in two stages: (1) pilot study stage, to investigate problem areas and develop the instruments; and (2) fieldwork or experimental stage to evaluate the innovation. The model emphasised the use of both experimental and illuminative evaluation strategies to evaluate the intrinsic and extrinsic criteria. The results obtained from the application of the above model suggested that most of the curriculum objectives were attainable if the textbook could be taught completely. In reality students and their teachers had reached a compromise about what should be taught and what should be learnt. The results from 45 criterion-referenced ecology test items showed that a selective number of concepts and principles were taught in each individual school. However, the high marks obtained by students in the teachers' examination proved that they were fulfilling the official cut-off score (12 out of 20). The above model, although used to evaluate the biology curriculum, seems to have a universal application for evaluating other subjects. It can be used for curriculum evaluation in any developing country that has similar characteristics to those in Iran.
Date of Award1978
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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