SCIENTIFICALLY ESTABLISHING CURRICULAR EFFECTIVENESS
Defining scientific validity for individual studies is an essential element of understanding curricular effectiveness. However, curricular effectiveness cannot be established by a single scientifically valid study; instead, a body of studies is needed.
Curricular effectiveness is an integrated judgment based on interpretation of a number of scientifically valid evaluations that combine social values, empirical evidence, and theoretical rationales. Similar to assessing test validity (Messick, 1989, 1995) determining effectiveness is a continuing and evolving process. As the body of studies about a curriculum grows larger, findings about its effectiveness can be enhanced or contravened by new findings, new approaches, new research, and changing social conditions
Furthermore, a single methodology, even replications and variations of a study, is inadequate to establish curricular effectiveness, because some types of critical information will be lacking. For example, a content analysis is important because, through expert review of the curriculum content, it provides evidence about such things as the quality of the learning goals or topics that might be missing from a particular curriculum. But content analysis cannot determine whether that curriculum, when actually implemented in classrooms, achieves better outcomes for students. In contrast, a comparative study can provide evidence of improvement in student learning in real classrooms across different curricula. Yet without the kind of complementary evidence provided in a content analysis, nothing will be known about the quality or comprehensiveness of the content in the curriculum that produced higher scores. Furthermore, neither content analyses nor comparative studies typically provide enough detailed information about the quality of the implementation of a particular curriculum. A case study provides deep insight into issues of implementation; however, by itself, it cannot establish representativeness or causality.
Therefore, the committee concluded that:
This conclusion led the committee to propose the following overarching recommendation:
Examples of Recommendations sections
An example of the recommendations section from an accounting & finance case study report.
Note: the ‘grammatical parallelism’ of each bulleted item on the recommendations list: the grammatical structure of each recommendation is the same. Each recommendation begins with an imperative verb (instructional word): for example, improve, do not, reduce. The student could also have written reducing, improving, and offering.
Excerpt from Woodward-Kron, R. (1997) Writing in Commerce: a guide to assist Commerce students with assignment writing, (Revised edition), Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle.
This is a recommendations section from a marketing report
It is recommended that Choice Chocolate take immediate measures to launch and promote Slim Choice alongside its existing product range. A fresh and healthy image should be used to promote Slim Choice in the media and slim, energetic and young models should be used. A campaign that conveys a sense of health and vitality to the consumer while enjoying Slim Choice is recommended. A suitable slogan would be the slogan “A Slim Choice a day keeps you going all the way”. This should be used in the launch campaign. It is suggested that good date for the launch is 6 April, the 10th Anniversary of the World Congress on Health and Diet. As part of the launch campaign, it is recommended all the reporters be presented with free samples of Slim Choice, along with product endorsement statements by renowned health experts. Corresponding with the launch, it would be appropriate for Slim Choice to be available at all supermarkets, candy stores, health food shops and newsagencies.
Recommendations (a to do list).
In this section, there is no grammatical parallelism in how the recommendations have been presented. This detracts from the communal strength of the recommendations.
Look at the revised version of this recommendations section below.
The same recommendation section has been rewritten. Notice how much clearer and more powerful the recommendations are in this version of the section.
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