ERIC Number: ED194574
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
The Evaluator as Artist: The Problem of Explicit Definition.
Metaphor, ethnography, and other qualitative alternatives to the traditional goal-based experimental approach to evaluation have been presented recently. Among the issues associated with the experimental approach are those of preordinate specification and explicit definition. Though the former has received much attention, the latter requires further dialogue. In this paper alternatives to explicit definition are explored, using ideas drawn from art and literature, art history, and aesthetics. Political and social implications of insisting on explicit definition, which are raised in some of the ideas from the arts, are applied to evaluation. The impact of explicit definition on evaluation methodology and reporting is also examined. Using the orientation of the artist, five suggestions are drawn for improving evaluation. They include 1) reflecting ambiguity, 2) challenging political reification, 3) exploring previously elusive variables, 4) enhancing communication, and 5) improving evaluator credibility. (Author/CP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Evaluation Network (6th, September 29-October 2, 1980, Memphis, TN).