ERIC Number: ED156719
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
The Logic of Evaluative Argument. CSE Monograph Series in Evaluation, 7.
House, Ernest R.
Evaluation is an act of persuasion directed to a specific audience concerning the solution of a problem. The process of evaluation is prescribed by the nature of knowledge--which is generally complex, always uncertain (in varying degrees), and not always propositional--and by the nature of logic, which is always selective. In the process of persuasion one must ascertain who the audience is and find a basis of agreement on premises, both of facts and values, and on presumptions. Two criteria for evaluation are: the most efficient way to a given end, or the most effective use of available resources. Quantitative evaluation methods involve three stages: (1) substantive definition of the problem and its translation into a formal, mathematical model; (2) compilation of information in terms of the formal model and its formal, logical analysis; and (3) translation of the formal conclusions back into substantive terms. Both formulation and interpretation require good intuitive judgment. The evaluator and the audience must employ their reasoning in a dialogue, and both must assume responsibility, since evaluation is never completely convincing nor entirely arbitrary. The logical arguments used in two works are discussed. The works--Gene V. Glass' review of Michael Scriven's instructional cassette lecture on "Evaluation Skills;" and Scriven's reply--are appended. (Author/CTM)
Descriptors: Abstract Reasoning, Audiences, Bias, Case Studies, Credibility, Data Analysis, Decision Making, Evaluation, Evaluation Methods, Evaluation Needs, Evaluative Thinking, Evaluators, Logic, Logical Thinking, Mathematical Models, Models, Persuasive Discourse, Problem Solving, Responsibility, Summative Evaluation, Values
Center for the Study of Evaluation, UCLA Graduate School of Education, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024 ($4.50)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.