ERIC Number: EJ723293
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 3
Democratic Theorizing: From Noun to Participle
American Journal of Evaluation, v26 n4 p579-581 2005
What is the relationship between theory and design in evaluation pretending to be "democratic?" When do we feel able to relinquish elements of intellectual control over evaluation? If not in qualitative versus quantitative tendencies, where lie key value divisions in evaluation? To elicit the views of two leading United Kingdom-based theorists of evaluation, Ray Pawson and Nigel Norris, Saville Kushner penned a brief argument positing the democratic imperative of ceding theoretical control to participants. Pawson, coauthor of "Realistic Evaluation", has intellectual preferences for (contextualized) causal reasoning; Norris, a close associate of Barry MacDonald, is a long-standing advocate of democratic evaluation. Although not necessarily diametrically opposed, their approaches to evaluation theorizing are distinct. In his "Aunt Sally" opener, Kushner argues that choosing or not to cede or share theoretical control of an evaluation with participants better characterizes differences between value positions in evaluation than more conventional bipolarities such as qualitative-quantitative or "strong" and "weak" designs. Norris and Pawson move this simple argument further and explore its more complex dimensions.
Descriptors: Evaluation Methods, Democracy, Theories, Evaluators, Foreign Countries, Research Methodology, Researchers
SAGE Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243 (Toll Free); Fax: 800-583-2665 (Toll Free).
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom