ERIC Number: ED458243
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Oct-4
A Discussion of Clinical Context of Evaluation: The Interaction of Evaluation with Situation Types and Stages of Problem Solving.
Trenta, Louis S.
This paper considers the setting of evaluation from the perspective of the situations and stages of problem solving in which institutional leaders might call for the assistance of evaluators. This discussion should provide evaluators with a framework to understand and adjust their interactions with the environmental context of the evaluation. R. Heifetz has posited three types of situations for institutional leaders: (1) clear problem and clear solution; (2) clear problem and unclear solution; and (3) unclear problem and unclear solution. For this discussion, a problem solving process is defined that contains five steps, from problem definition to making changes. Another aspect of the situation in which institutional leaders might or would seek the assistance of evaluators is the definition of evaluation whether it determines the extent to which goals have been accomplished, provides descriptive information, or judges the merits of a program or components. Evaluators have different roles to play in the institutional setting of their work, and their roles depend on the situation. When there is clarity about the problem and the solution, the work is within purposes that are summative or formative, and thus basically technical. When there is lack of clarity about the problem or the solution, the work expands into sociopolitical and psychological purposes and becomes both technical and interactive. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, October 13-16, 1999).