Mark_IntegratedFramework

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Unformatted text preview: mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Articles Articles should deal with topics applicable to the broad field of program evaluation. Articles may deal with evaluation practice or theory, but if the latter, implications for practicing evaluators should be clearly identified. Examples of contributions include, but are not limited to, reviews of new developments in evaluation and descriptions of a current evaluation effort, problem, or technique. Results of empirical evaluation studies will be published only if the methods and/or findings have clear utility to other evaluation practitioners. Manuscripts should include appropriate references and normally should not exceed 10 double-spaced type- written pages in length; longer articles will occasionally be published, but only where their importance to AJE readers is judged to be quite high. Toward an Integrative Framework for Evaluation Practice 1 MELVIN M. MARK, GARY T. HENRY, AND GEORGE JULNES ABSTRACT Evaluation has been beset with serious divisions, including the paradigm wars and the seeming segmentation of evaluation prac- tice into distinct evaluation theories and approaches. In this paper, we describe key aspects of an integrative framework that may help evaluators move beyond such divisions. We offer a new scheme for categorizing evaluation methods within four inquiry modes , which are families or clusters of methods: description, classification, causal analysis, and values inquiry. In addition, we briefly describe a set of alternative evaluation purposes. We argue that, together with a form of realist philosophy, the framework of inquiry modes and evaluation purposes (1) provides a common lexicon for evaluators, which may help the field in moving beyond past divisions, and (2) offers a useful approach to evaluation planning. The field of evaluation has no shortage of distinctions and divisions. Most notable among these is the schism that has even been described commonly in the metaphoric language of Melvin M. Mark Institute for Policy Research & Evaluation, N254 Burrowes, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802; E-Mail: M5M@psu.edu; Gary T. Henry School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, University Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30303. Email: gthenry@gsu.edu; George Julnes Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-2810. Melvin M. Mark American Journal of Evaluation , Vol. 20, No. 2, 1999, pp. 177198. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISSN: 1098-2140 Copyright 1999 by American Evaluation Association. 177 battle: the paradigm war. The sides in the paradigm war are most often described in terms of methodology, that is, qualitative versus quantitative. At other times, the distinction is made at more of a philosophical level, with constructivists and postmodernists highlighting their differences with the sons and daughters of positivism, and vice versa....
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