ERIC Number: ED195571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Integrity Versus Pragmatism in Large Scale Evaluation: Planning the National 4-H Evaluation.
Meyers, James M.
In 1977 Congress mandated an assessment of the "economic and social consequences," of the nation's 4-H programs. The evaluation problem posed involved the identification of all social and economic effects caused by some facet of a very large, nationally decentralized youth education program. The design utilized drew on exploratory research methods to focus on inferred, attributed, and demonstrated consequences at three orders of occurence. This mandate sparked conflicting concerns between sponsoring and administering stakeholders for "integrity" and for "pragmatic necessity" in evaluation design. In the course of dealing with these conflicts, several potentially critical differences in large and small scale evaluation situations were identified. Some of the differences suggested included: (1) nature of the evaluation question, where large scale evaluations (LSE) tend to assess underlying funding policy or rationales and smaller scale evaluations (SSE) tend to assess program operations; (2) program variance, which increases with scale; (3) data management and collection, where LSE are more costly than SSE; (4) effect of time and resource constraints, which are more likely to effect design and methodological choices in LSE; and (5) stakeholders' attitudes and behaviors, which seem to increase with fear, suspicions, and controversy as scale increases. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Food and Agriculture Act 1977; 4 H Clubs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (64th, Boston, Ma, April 7-11, 1980).