A Hermeneutical Model for Research on the Evaluation of Academic Achievement

New Thoughts on Education 1 (2&3):5-12 (2005)
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The hermeneutic view, as a constructive approach in social sciences, is revived in last decades; Principles of this view are applied to educational studies as well. In this essay, the application of these principles to the area of research on evaluation of academic achievement is discussed, In this discussion the main point of the hermeneutic view, namely the Hermeneutic circle, is highlighted within the framework of Heidegger's and Gadamer’s views, Accordingly, four steps are suggested for doing research on the evaluation of academic achievement. In the first step, the researcher traces to determine whether the teacher is aware of her pre-understandings in the process of evaluation, This is because evaluation, like any other cognitive activity, is not advanced with an empty mind, In the second step, the researcher deals with the question whether the teacher tries to enter into the intellectual horizon of the pupil In effect, in the third step, the researcher deals with the question whether the teacher confirms or changes the pre-understandings identified in the first step, Finally, in the fourth step, the researcher looks 10 see whether the teacher provides a 'fusion of horizons’; a fusion between the intellectual horizon of hers and that of the pupil's, This is to say that from the hermeneutic view, proper evaluation is far from being a one-directional activity of the teacher
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