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Values in Evaluation and Social Research
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Values in Evaluation and Social Research


August 1999 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

"Values in Evaluation is a breakthrough book that will change the way evaluators think about the relationship between facts and values. Using the tools of philosophy and insights from evaluation practice, the authors attack the inconsistencies in current thinking about the interplay of facts and values and give us an outline for reconstructing the approach to values within evaluation."

--Gary T. Henry, Georgia State University

"This book, as the title promises, unfurls the concept of value in the practice of program evaluation. The editors go well beyond recognizing that all data gathering and description are value laden and that all evaluators have value commitments shaping their designs. They examine the ethical and political burdens accompanying any evaluation contract. Out of an extended collaboration, Kenneth R. Howe and Ernest R. House together redirect their advocacy toward the pursuit of democracy."

--Robert E. Stake, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The authors use the tools of philosophy and the insights from evaluation practice to cut through current confusion about values and the interplay of facts and values. Four views of facts and values in evaluation are analyzed: those rooted in a fact-value dichotomy and those of radical constructivists, postmodernists, and deliberative democrats. The arguments are tough, the prose concise, and the insights compelling.


 
Introduction
The Problem of Values  
 
PART ONE: VALUE CLAIMS
 
Facts and Values
 
Evaluative Reasoning
 
PART TWO: CRITIQUES OF OTHER VIEWS
 
The Received View
 
The Radical Constructivist View
 
The Postmodern View
 
PART THREE: DELIBERATIVE DEMOCRATIC EVALUATION
 
The Deliberative Democratic View
 
Good Practice
 
Conclusion
The Role of Evaluation in Society  

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