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The Practice-Theory Relationship in Evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation. No. 97. J-B PE Single Issue (Program) Evaluation

  • ID: 2217980
  • Book
  • 104 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Exploring research's impact on evaluation practice The Practice-Theory Relationship in Evaluation: New Directions for Evaluation presents the finding of a unique empirical study of evaluation, comparing the reported practices of evaluation theorists with real-world practices in the field. A selection of leading authorities offer both analyses and perspectives on the study's impact on the field, prompting deep consideration of the role of empirical study of evaluation and the relationship between concept and practice. Empirical study of evaluation is key to improving practices and developing alternate approaches, and this book stimulates the level of debate necessary for determining future directions.
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EDITOR S NOTES (Christina A. Christie).

1. What Guides Evaluation? A Study of How Evaluation Practice Maps onto Evaluation Theory (Christina A. Christie)
The results of an empirical study are portrayed in a comparative twodimensional framework that describes the self–reported evaluation practices of eight evaluation theorists and then is also used to assess and describe the real–world practices of a sample of evaluation practitioners.

2. Important Questions, Intriguing Method, Incomplete Answers (Lois–ellin Datta)
The author triangulates Christie s findings with other research on the evaluation practice–theory relationship and offers additional methods and directions for future research on evaluation practice.

3. Fetterman–House: A Process Use Distinction and a Theory (David Fetterman)
The concept of process use is discussed as an important distinction between the evaluation theories of House and Fetterman, thus helping to explain Christie s discordant results for these two theorists.

4. Stakeholder Bias (Ernest R. House)
The nature of stakeholder participation in evaluation is analyzed. House s commi tment to involving all stakeholders to ensure that the interests of all are included is contrasted with other theorists preference to involve a few stakeholders more intensely.

5. The Challenge of Studying Evaluation Theory (Jean A. King)
This chapter discusses why evaluation as a field has not systematically studied its own theory, then examines the tensions between Lewin s often–cited claim that there is nothing so practical as a good theory and Fullan s response that there is nothing so theoretical as good practice.

6. Toward an Agenda for Research on Evaluation (Gary T. Henry, Melvin M. Mark)
Building on Christie s innovative work, the authors chart a future agenda for research on evaluation.

7. Evaluation Theory and Practice: Insights and New Directions (Marvin C. Alkin)
The chapter provides a synthesis of the critical commentary of each of the volume contributors.

8. Understanding Evaluation Theory and Its Role in Guiding Practice: Formal, Folk, and Otherwise (Christina A. Christie)
A final comment is presented on the role that evaluation theory plays in practice.


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Christina A. Christie
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