The evolving syntheses of program value

Robert Stake, Christopher Migotsky, Rita Davis, Edith J. Cisneros, Gary Depaul, Christopher Dunbar, Raquel Farmer, Joan Feltovich, Edna Johnson, Brent Williams, Martha Zurita, Iduina Chaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we object to Michael Scriven's claim that the basic logic of evaluation is criterial and standards-based. We note that valuing is an integral part of perception and that valuing within perception, repeatedly refined, is an even more basic logic of evaluation. We find unpersuasive his claim that making the final synthesis "governed" will diminish bias, noting that bias will find its way into the required statements of need, function, standards and weighting. We offer our alternative for disciplining the synthesis process, by urging more systematic and demanding critiques of Robert Stake emerging interpretations and values, and by more deliberately using competing conceptual organizers (e.g., goals, issues, decisions and elements of the rules Scriven advocates) as temporary and dialectical grounds for reconsidering the evolving meanings of the program, including its merit and shortcoming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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