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New disciplines are often wracked by ideological disputes. In this respect, evaluation is no different from some of the other new entries in the disciplinary sweepstakes — in recent decades these include sociobiology, computer science, feminist theory, non-formal logic, serious parapsychology, ethnic and policy studies, ecobiology, molecular biology, structural linguistics, computerized mathematics, physiological and cognitive psychology, psychohistory, and others. There is nothing new about this, as some reflection on the history of evolutionary theory and astronomy will remind us. But it is hard to achieve perspective on any revolution of which we are part. The proliferation of evaluation models is a sign of the ferment of the field and the seriousness of the methodological problems which evaluation encounters. In this sense, it is a hopeful sign. But it makes a balanced overview very hard to achieve; one might as well try to describe the “typical animal” or the “ideal animal” in a zoo.
KeywordsProgram Evaluation Summative Evaluation Student Evaluation Evaluative Judgment Consumer Report
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