How can we call Evaluation a Profession if there are no Qualifications for Practice?

  • Blaine R. Worthen
Part of the Kluwer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 9)

Abstract

Anyone making a living as an evaluator has probably found it difficult on occasion to explain to others just what the occupation of evaluation entails. Indeed, some people I meet seem a bit bewildered how persons other than Ralph Nader could earn their income merely by “evaluating things” and reporting their findings. Yet questions about how one can earn a living simply by evaluating things are not nearly as taxing as the more insightful and penetrating questions of those who can easily imagine one doing evaluations for a living (doubtlessly conjuring up referent images of tax auditors, quality control experts, meat inspectors, theater critics and the like), but probe deeper by asking, “Are you required to have to have a state license to practice evaluation?,” “Are there university programs to train evaluators?,” “Are evaluators accredited?,” “What qualifications do members of your professional association have to meet?” And when all these are answered in the negative, the obvious question becomes: “Then is evaluation really a profession?” It is these and related questions that I explore here, along with a few comments about challenges we confront and options we might pursue if we desire evaluation ever to become a mature, widely recognized, and understood profession.2

Keywords

Income Assure Arena Defend Stake 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blaine R. Worthen
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Institute for Research and EvaluationUtah State UniversityUSA

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