ERIC Number: ED343061
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr-21
Evaluators as Moral Agents: Risks and Responsibilities in a New Role.
Emihovich, Catherine; Blake, Brenedette Hardy
Taking the position that science is not value-free has certain consequences. There are both risks and rewards inherent when evaluators relinquish an objective, non-involved role for a more subjective, partisan role in an evaluation where issues of class, gender, and race are intertwined. It is important for evaluators to consider how their personal and political commitments to specific social programs affect their judgments of those programs, and how the interests of social justice can be served in promoting the interests of the clients for whom these programs are intended. The evaluators' values helped to frame the evaluation of a teenage pregnancy prevention program in a rural southern community in the Florida panhandle. The evaluation approach was based on feminist concepts of how social research in general should be conducted and on the principles of action research. A high premium placed on interviewing program participants reflects a desire to serve the interests of social justice by giving a voice to people whom the decision makers rarely hear, and whose interests are rarely considered when decisions to terminate programs are made. Evaluators may face moral dilemmas in the future if the use of incentive programs with at-risk populations increases. Evaluators need to identify the moral and political stance they will assume in conducting evaluations in the future (NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (73rd, San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).