Fundamental Issues in Evaluation / Edition 1

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Overview

Providing state-of-the-art perspectives on what evaluation is, its purpose, and how to ensure it is done well, this book brings together major evaluation researchers from a variety of social and behavioral science disciplines. Each chapter identifies a fundamental issue facing the field today; considers its implications for theory, method, practice, or the profession; and explores one or more approaches to dealing with the issue. Among the topics addressed are the nature of expertise in evaluation, how to build a better evidence base for evaluation theory, promoting cultural competence in evaluation, how to synthesize evaluation research findings, ways to involve stakeholders in decision making, and much more.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"For a while now, I have been searching for a book to help me reshape and reorganize my introductory program evaluation course for graduate students in our Policy and Leadership program. Fundamental Issues in Evaluation is exactly what I need. I can organize my course around the structure of the book and its categorization of fundamental issues, framing evaluation as theory, method, practice, and profession. Even more important, the chapters offer engaging perspectives that boldly question traditional stances on evaluation in each of the categories. I thank Smith and Brandon for giving me both the structure and the critical content that I've been looking for."--Sharon F. Rallis, Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Educational Policy and Reform, University of Massachusetts

"Evaluation is a very young and fast-growing discipline that has developed and adapted through constant reflection on its purposes and methods. The contributors to this volume have accelerated this ongoing process of reassessment. They have made the key issues facing evaluators explicit and tangible, and have provided theoretical and practical lenses through which evaluation professionals can envision and engage in productive conversations about their roles and approaches."--Lorna M. Earl, Co-founder, International Centre for Educational Change, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada

"A first-rate examination of theories, methods, and practices in contemporary evaluation, this book is a necessity for the library of any professional evaluator and is equally valuable for graduate study. It offers outstanding consideration of enduring, important questions surrounding stakeholder involvement, diverse participation, social justice, and appropriate methodologies. Chapter authors are writing 'at the top of their game,' and almost every chapter is clear, eloquent, and about the best statement one could find on the issues. Smith and Brandon have brought together a timely book of enormous value, one that will join other classics in our field. Treat yourself to excellence and get a copy today!"--Lois-Ellin Datta, President, Datta Analysis, Waikoloa, Hawaii

Drug and Alcohol Review

"Offers a significant contribution to the literature which explores the nature and importance of recurring issues in evaluation....Examines issues and concerns that continue to face the evaluation field today, as they have historically, and examines them in a balanced and comprehensive manner. The book achieves its aim of exploring the nature and importance of fundamental issues, and their impact on evaluation, theory, method, practice, and the profession."--Drug and Alcohol Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593853426
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/19/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 266
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick L. Smith is Professor in the School of Education at Syracuse University and a past president of the American Evaluation Association. The primary focus of his writings is the nature of applied field research and evaluation methods, and the theory of evaluation.
 
Paul R. Brandon is Professor of Education and Director of the Program Research and Evaluation Office at Curriculum Research and Development Group, University of Hawaii at Manoa. His current scholarly interests include the evaluation of program implementation and standard setting in evaluations.
 

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Table of Contents


Fundamental Issues in Evaluation   Nick L. Smith     1
Mandala of Nautilus Shells     2
Example: The Role of RCTs tn Evaluation     5
The Ongoing Fundamental Concerns     10
Conclusion     19
Issues of Theory     25
The Relevance of Practical Knowledge Traditions to Evaluation Practice   Thomas A. Schwandt     29
The Nature of Practical Knowledge     30
Practical Knowledge in Evaluation     33
Practical versus Technical Knowledge     35
Stakeholder Representation in Culturally Complex Communities: Insights from the Transformative Paradigm   Donna M. Mertens     41
The Transformative Paradigm     42
The Transformative Paradigm as a Framework for Critical Analysis of Evaluation Practice     44
Cultural Competency     46
Dimensions of Diversity     48
Cautions and Challenges     55
Conclusion     56
Issues of Method     61
Multiple Threats to the Validity of Randomized Studies   Judith A. Droitcour   Mary Grace Kovar     65
Background     66
Objectives, Scope, and Methodology     68
Results     69
Conclusions     82
Research Synthesis: Toward Broad-Based Evidence   Susan N. Labin     89
Background and History of Research Methodologies     90
Types of Research Reviews     92
Further Specification of Research Syntheses     94
Implications of Existing Primary Research for Synthesis     100
Conclusions and Recommendations     104
Building a Better Evidence Base for Evaluation Theory: Beyond General Calls to a Framework of Types of Research on Evaluation   Melvin M. Mark     111
Research on Evaluation: A Fundamental Issue?     111
Research on Evaluation: Previous Calls     113
From General Calls to a Framework     116
Discussion     126
Issues of Practice     135
Complexities in Setting Program Standards in Collaborative Evaluation   J. Bradley Cousins   Lyn M. Shulha     139
Conceptions of Collaborative Evaluation     140
Complexities of Program Standard Setting in Collaborative Evaluation     141
Participatory Evaluation of the Educational Leadership Program: Case Example     149
Discussion     154
Building Evaluation Recommendations for Improvement: Insights from Student Formative Assessments   Carlos C. Ayala    Paul R. Brandon     159
Discussion about Recommendations in the Program Evaluation Literature     160
Formative Student Assessment     161
Implications of the Assessment Pedagogy Model for Program Evaluation     172
Issues of the Profession     177
What Is the Difference between Evaluation and Research-and Why Do We Care?   Sandra Mathison     183
Why Do We Care about the Difference?     184
Characterizing the Issue     187
What Is the Difference between Evaluation and Research?     188
Conclusion     195
The Impact of Narrow Views of Scientific Rigor on Evaluation Practices for Underrepresented Groups   Elmima C. Johnson   Karen E. Kirkhart   Anna Marie Madison   Grayson B. Noley   Guillermo Solano-Flores     197
Validity and Scientific Rigor     201
The Role of Theory in Scientific Rigor     207
Scientific Rigor to Advance the Social Justice Goals of NCLB     209
Conclusion     211
Improving the Practice of Evaluation through Indigenous Values and Methods: Decolonizing Evaluation Practice-Returning the Gaze from Hawai'i and Aotearoa   Alice J. Kawakami   Kanani Aton   Fiona Cram   Morris K. Lai   Laurie Porima     219
Relevance to Evaluators     220
Relevance to the Profession     220
Relevance to Society     221
Addressing the Issues     221
Looking at the West     222
Echoes of Our Colonial Past     224
Protection of Cultural and Intellectual Rights     225
Violations of Indigenous Values and Mainstream Evaluation Standards     226
Thus One Learns     228
An Indigenous Evaluation Framework     228
An Indigenous Perspective on "Value"     229
Assumptions about the Context     230
Evaluation Components     232
Barriers and Challenges     233
An Example Showing Some Aspects of Culturally Appropriate Evaluation Practice     235
Concluding Remarks     239
Author Index     243
Subject Index     251
About the Editors     263
Contributors     264
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