Magazine article Talent Development

Industry Loses a Legend: Creator of Kirkpatrick's Four Levels Dies

Magazine article Talent Development

Industry Loses a Legend: Creator of Kirkpatrick's Four Levels Dies

Article excerpt

Donald L. Kirkpatrick, whose four levels of evaluation were introduced to the profession in 1958 in the Journal for the American Society for Training and Development (now T+D) and are still widely used 56 years later, passed away on May 9 at the age of 90.

The Kirkpatrick Four Levels--reaction, learning, behavior, and results--were originally developed in the writing of his dissertation, "Evaluating a Human Relations Training Program for Supervisors." They appeared in four separate articles in ASTD's publication, from November 1958 through February 1959.

"The Kirkpatrick Four Levels of evaluation stand as one of the most practical models ever introduced to the field of training and development," Bob Pike said in an April 2011 tribute to Kirkpatrick in T+D magazine. "His head and his heart have always been focused on helping training and development professionals add value and make a difference."

Kirkpatrick spent the majority of his professional career at the Management Institute of the University of Wisconsin, where he taught managers at all levels the principles and techniques of many subjects, including coaching, communication, leadership, managing change, managing time, and team building. In the industry, he served as the training director for International Minerals and Chemical Corp. and was the human resources manager for Bendix Products Aerospace Division.

Kirkpatrick served as the volunteer president for ASTD in 1975 and received the 1982 Gordon M. Bliss Memorial Award, ASTD's highest award to honor a member who has made significant contributions to the association. …

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