ERIC Number: ED174637
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Human Activity of Evaluation Theorizing.
Alkin, Marvin C.; Ellett, Frederick, Jr.
Theorizing about evaluation should be conceptualized as a human activity governed by certain strategies and principles. The theories advanced by various evaluators have changed over the years, thus illustrating ten principles of evaluation. The starting point for theory development or modification is self-reflection and review of one's own writings. Public conceptions of a theory are based upon publications describing it; different conceptions are possible. Theoretical formulations are subject to continual change. Other principles suggest major factors for modifying evaluation theory. At conference sumposia, for example, an evaluation theory can be interpreted by colleagues, and compared and contrasted to other theories; here also, evaluators can learn to understand contrasting arguments and to challenge or extend inferences. Another phase in evaluation theory development becomes possible when theory consolidation or theory categorization takes place. Other factors influencing theory development include field based experience, and interaction with colleagues who have compatible points of view. Finally, evaluation theory development is conditioned by human beings and their associations, motivations, intuitions, and imaginations. (GDC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.