Participatory Evaluation in Education: Studies in Evaluation Use and Organizational Learning

By J. Bradley Cousins; Lorna M. Earl | Go to book overview

Part 1

Why Participatory Evaluation?

In 1992 we published an article in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis that provided a conceptual foundation for our ideas on participatory evaluation. In the paper, we described participatory evaluation and prepared a justification for it from a review of empirical and theoretical research. We then presented some preliminary thoughts about the conditions necessary in order for participatory evaluation to be effective, and an agenda for research. One of the blind reviewers for that article called it the best paper in evaluation he or she had seen in several years. Many of the ideas presented in that 1992 article are revisited anchapter 1, but the chapter extends them by grounding the case more directly in the context of considerations important to the process of change in educational organizations. Also, we elaborate our ideas about organizational learning, a theoretical orientation with natural appeal for utilization-oriented participatory evaluation. Finally, we end up with a set of questions that require investigation, a natural point of departure for the remainder of the book.

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