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Program Evaluation Theory and Practice, Second Edition


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Table of Contents

I. The Landscape of Evaluation 1. Introduction to Evaluation: Defining Terms and Ethical Considerations 2. Framing Evaluation: Paradigms, Branches, and Theories II. Historical and Contemporary Evaluation Paradigms, Branches, Theories, and Approaches 3. The Postpositivist Paradigm and the Methods Branch 4. The Pragmatic Paradigm and the Use Branch 5. The Constructivist Paradigm and the Values Branch 6. The Transformative Paradigm and the Social Justice Branch III. Planning Evaluations 7. Working with Stakeholders: Establishing the Context and the Evaluand 8. Evaluation Purposes, Types, and Questions 9. Evaluation Designs 10. Data Collection Strategies and Indicators 11. Stakeholders, Participants, and Sampling 12. Data Analysis and Interpretation IV. Implementation in Evaluation: Communication and Utilization of Findings, Management, Meta-Evaluation, and Challenges 13. Communication and Utilization of Findings 14. Meta-Evaluation and Project Management 15. Perennial and Emerging Issues in Evaluation Abbreviation Dictionary Glossary References

About the Author

Donna M. Mertens, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Educational Foundations and Research at Gallaudet University, where she taught advanced research methods and program evaluation to deaf and hearing students. Amy T. Wilson, PhD, is Director of Mill Neck International at the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, where she leads a team of deaf education specialists who share their expertise, knowledge, and technical skills with parents, educators, and professionals in economically poor countries.


"This textbook combines theory with concrete practical applications. The diverse case examples threaded throughout the chapters provide for a truly interdisciplinary text. The reflective commentaries from evaluators and the extended learning activities give students a deeper understanding. Features that set this text apart from others include the logical flow, which aligns with the process of evaluation; pedagogical activities in each chapter; explanations of the theoretical foundations of different evaluation approaches; and checklists and tables that students will continue to use as resources as they move through their programs and into practice."--Kristin L. K. Koskey, PhD, Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership, University of Akron

"If I were permitted only one text to introduce students to the breadth of evaluation theory, methods, and practice, this would sit at the top of the list. The updated second edition offers the beginner an accessible, lively treatment of the distinctive approaches and techniques that make evaluation a uniquely exciting enterprise. Each chapter richly illustrates how an evaluator's most basic assumptions inform choices in the field and distinguish evaluation from other applied forms of inquiry. Contemporary examples are drawn from diverse problem areas and settings, providing a window into the dilemmas, issues, and challenges confronting evaluators. Readers will discover a wide array of ideas and resources to support their successful design and execution of evaluation projects."--Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University

"One of the reasons I selected this text for my course is its strong coverage of evaluation with marginalized and vulnerable populations, a topic that has been getting increasing attention in the field. Issues of social justice, power and privilege, and cultural competence are woven throughout."--Colleen Fisher, PhD, Department of Social Work, University of Alabama at Birmingham

"The primary strength of this book is its grounding in principles of cultural responsiveness, social justice, and the transformative power of evaluation. It occupies a unique space in a sea of 'value-neutral' evaluation textbooks. I also appreciate the real-life evaluation examples. It is rare to find such well-chosen, carefully summarized, and annotated examples to use in a course. I have yet to see a better example of a text that combines the theory and practice of evaluation in one volume."--Lauren P. Saenz, PhD, Department of Education, Bowdoin College

"The authors' discussion of paradigms opens up interesting discussions of the ethical elements in program evaluation and the role of the evaluator. This is an excellent introduction to social science theory, models of program evaluation, and the process of research design, for instructors looking for a text that minimizes purely statistical topics."--Gerasimos "Jerry" A. Gianakis, PhD, Institute for Public Service (retired), Suffolk University

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