Evaluation is a significant aspect of any educational activity. It allows participants to understand whether or not the learning process is effective, estimate the program, and adjust it to the needs and wants of the learners if needed (Adom et al., 2020). There are multiple ways to estimate learners; however, it is interesting to look at humanistic and scientific approaches to compare them and examine how they can be applied to the educational process.
The scientific approach is used to “prioritize knowledge” and make an educational system efficient as possible (Ornstein et al., 2017, p. 211). For example, Bobbitt and Charters created the models to prepare students to engage them as specialists. These models strive to make prepared and competent professionals whose scientific input would contribute to the world. Ralph Tyler’s model uses four main principles for evaluation: determining the school’s aims, identifying educational purposes, evaluating the organization, and evaluating general purposes. Tyler believed that educational processes should be sequenced and systematized to produce maximal efficiency.
Despite the criticism of this model for its excessive straightforwardness, it remains popular in academic organizations. Other scientific approach models focus on identifying specific objectives of the organization, and the evaluation is built on the principle of matching desired results with actual progress. On the one hand, these methods suggest practical learning step-by-step; however, humans are different, and expected results can be often failed. Therefore, the scientific approach cannot be practical for all participants in the learning activity.
Humanistic approach supporters strive to analyze and observe qualitative data. This method also includes “creative problem solving” and focuses on social life experiences, group interaction, participation, and experience exchange (Ornstein et al., 2017, p. 25). There are significant differences between humanistic and scientific approaches; for instance, the humanistic method includes active participation of the learner in changing the educational program (Ewin et al., 2017). It also engages pupils in various interpersonal activities and permits all participants to adjust the curriculum. In contrast, the scientific approach encourages obedience to the established educational standard.
As scientific and humanistic methods are still relevant and famous, it is interesting to look at how these approaches can be applied practically. For instance, using scientific techniques, students should follow systematic standards to help them reach specific educational goals in time. This method might be effective for pupils with a technical mind. Students are given clear objectives and should follow an established program. Therefore, students can reach learning goals effectively, and the educational process can flow in an organized and systematic way.
On the contrary, the humanistic approach suggests learners’ active participation and input into the learning process. Evaluation is the part of the study, not its final goal; the circle covers the learner wholly, not only one’s skills. From the perspective of humanity, this approach seems to be more liberal, as it adjusts to the student irrespective of one’s mental abilities. However, it is essential to understand that each individual can not follow the same standard.
To sum everything up, both humanistic and scientific approaches might be effectively applied to the educational process. The first method focuses on professionalism, systematic organization, and knowledge priority. On the contrary, the second approach is about human features, socialization, and interaction. It is vital to grasp that evaluation depends on the method; thus, it varies according to the chosen approach. Only practical applications can measure the effectiveness of the estimation of these approaches.
Adom, D., Adu-Mensah, J., & Dake, D. A. (2020). Test, measurement, and evaluation: Understanding and use of the concepts in education. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), 9(1), 109. Web.
Ewin, N., Luck, J., Chugh, R., & Jarvis, J. (2017). Rethinking project management education: A humanistic approach based on design thinking. Procedia Computer Science, 121, 503–510. Web.
Ornstein, A. C., & Hunkins, F. P. (2017). Curriculum: Foundations, principles, and issues. (7th ed.) Pearson Higher Education & Professional Group.