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Evaluation Roots

Tracing Theorists' Views and Influences

Marvin C. Alkin University of California, Los Angeles
© 2004   440 pages   SAGE Publications, Inc   
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Hardcover ISBN: 9780761928935 $149.00

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"Marvin Alkin has assembled one of the most important collections of essays to date about the history of the booming discipline and profession of evaluation. This volume ushers the reader down memory lane to profound and semi-profound insights, invaluable lessons learned, and spectacular reflections from original pioneers and their former students about how to, and how not to, practice evaluation. Evaluation Roots provides one of the most coherent frameworks available—The Evaluation Theory Tree—for understanding differences and similarities between many of the modern day theories of evaluation practice. It is a must read for evaluation scholars, practitioners, and especially the next generation of evaluators. It will certainly be required reading for evaluation students attending Claremont Graduate University." —Dr. Stewart I. Donaldson, Dean of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Chair & Professor of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University

Concern for evaluation theoretical prescriptions emerged about 40 years ago, giving it a history that is both recent enough to be part of the living experience of many of today's theorists and old enough to afford an opportunity for an analysis of how the field has evolved over time.

Evaluation Roots: Tracing Theorists’ Views and Influences examines current evaluation theories and traces their evolution within the framework of theories building upon theories and how evaluation theories are related to each other. Initially, all evaluation was derived from social science research methodology and accountability concerns. The way in which these evaluation "roots" grew to form a tree helps to provide a better understanding of evaluation theory. Thus, the book uses an evaluation theory tree as its central metaphor. Author Marvin C. Alkin posits that evaluation theories can be classified by the extent to which they focus on methods, uses, or valuing; these three approaches form the major limbs of the tree.

examines current evaluation theories and traces their evolution within the framework of theories building upon theories and how evaluation theories are related to each other. Initially, all evaluation was derived from social science research methodology and accountability concerns. The way in which these evaluation "roots" grew to form a tree helps to provide a better understanding of evaluation theory. Thus, the book uses an evaluation theory tree as its central metaphor. Author Marvin C. Alkin posits that evaluation theories can be classified by the extent to which they focus on methods, uses, or valuing; these three approaches form the major limbs of the tree.

In addition to an overview, which analyzes the evaluation theory tree and connections among theories, the book contains essays by twenty-two leading evaluation theorists. In these pieces, the evaluators comment on their own development and provide their own views of their placement upon the tree.

This book is intended for graduate students in departments of education, psychology, sociology, management, public policy, public health, and any department with a course in evaluation theory. It will also prove invaluable to professional evaluators and applied researchers who are seeking clarification on the differences between theoretical approaches to evaluation and how they developed.

Contributors

Robert Boruch

Huey Chen

Christina Christie

Thomas Cook

J. Bradley Cousins

Elliot Eisner

David Fetterman

Jennifer Greene

Egon Guba

Ernest House

Jean King

Yvonna Lincoln

Jason K. Luellen

George Madaus

John Owen

Michael Quinn Patton

Hallie Preskill

Peter Rossi

Michael Scriven

William R. Shadish

Robert Stake

Daniel L. Stufflebeam

Carol Weiss

Joseph Wholey

Product Type

All