Evaluation, History of

Many disciplines have contributed to the field of evaluation, but education and the social sciences have long played major roles in this area. There have been both philosophical and cultural shifts in the field of evaluation over time. Egon Guba and Yvonna Lincoln have described evaluation’s ideological progression as proceeding through four generations: measurement, description (objectives focused), judgment (decision focused), and constructivism. Furthermore, the history of evaluation reflects the broader societal story of economic ebbs and flows, the burgeoning of measurement and standardization, and the emergence of multicultural inclusion. This entry looks at influences on evaluation and discusses shifts in the field’s ideology and practice over time, with a focus on the 20th and early 21st centuries.

The first recording of evaluation was in the late ...

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