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‘Lead’ Standard Evaluation

Case Study Evaluation: Past, Present and Future Challenges

ISBN: 978-1-78441-064-3, eISBN: 978-1-78441-063-6

ISSN: 1474-7863

Publication date: 3 January 2015


In general, this diversity is not treated as problematic. The professional evaluation community has increasingly taken the view (‘let all the flowers grow’) that evaluation models can be deemed appropriate across a wide spectrum, with their appropriateness determined by the nature of the task and its context, including in relation to hybrid studies using mixed models or displaying what Geertz (Geertz, C. (1980/1993). Blurred genres: The refiguration of social thought. The American Scholar, 49(2), 165–179) called ‘blurred genres’. However, from time to time historic tribal rivalries re-emerge as particular practitioners feel the need to defend their modus operandi (and thereby their livelihood) against paradigm shifts or governments and other sponsors of program evaluation seeking for ideological reasons to prioritize certain types of study at the expense of others. The latter possibility poses a potential threat that needs to be taken seriously by evaluators within the broad tradition showcased in this volume, interpretive qualitative case studies of educational programs that combine naturalistic description (often ‘thick’; Geertz, C. (1973). Thick description: Towards an interpretive theory of culture. In The interpretation of culture (pp. 3–30). New York, NY: Basic Books.) description with a values-orientated analysis of their implications. Such studies are more likely to seek inspiration from anthropology or critical discourse analysis than from the randomly controlled trials familiar in medical research or laboratory practice in the physical sciences, despite the impressive rigour of the latter in appropriate contexts. It is the risk of ideological allegiance that I address in this chapter.



Jenkins, D. (2015), "‘Lead’ Standard Evaluation", Case Study Evaluation: Past, Present and Future Challenges (Advances in Program Evaluation, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 157-176.



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