Practical Wisdom for an Ethical Evaluation Practice

Edited by:
Marthe Hurteau, Université du Québec à Montréal
Thomas Archibald, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A volume in the series: Evaluation and Society. Editor(s): Stewart I. Donaldson, Claremont Graduate University. Katrina L. Bledsoe, Education Development Center.

Published 2023

This book provides a contemporary and thought-provoking exploration of the concept of practical wisdom--what it is and how it can be incorporated into evaluation practice. It defines what practical wisdom is, explores its roots, where it stands today, what constitutes the "wise" evaluator, and how we can develop sound judgment in an unpredictable and chaotic time. It brings together evaluation thought leaders and practitioners to examine the concept of practical wisdom. The authors’ enlightening essays are interwoven with reflective strands comprised of commentaries, examples, and new ideas added by Hurteau and her colleagues that offer a recursive and intricate pattern of reflection on the topic of practical wisdom.

This is a rare book because it moves beyond evaluation methodology to explore how practical wisdom can help us develop new and better solutions for difficult evaluation situations. It will become a standard reference for practitioners, trainers. and teachers of evaluation because it considers the history, ethics, and competencies that underpin practical wisdom, and examines the ways that this untaught skill can be applied, to do, as House says, “the right thing in the special circumstances of performing the job.”

Preface, Gail Vallance Barrington. Introduction, Marthe Hurteau. PART I: WHAT PRACTICAL WISDOM IS AND WHERE IT STANDS. The Practical Wisdom of Evaluators, Ernest R. House. Practical Wisdom for Evaluators: What It Is and How to Achieve It, Arnold Love. Can Practical Wisdom Serve as an Organizing Framework for Ethical Evaluation Practice? Thomas A. Schwandt. Competencies, Practical Wisdom, and the Professionalization of Ethical Practice, James C. McDavid and Irene Huse. PART II: THE “WISE” EVALUATOR. Practical Wisdom in Action, Marthe Hurteau and Caroline Gagnon. Mindfulness and Practical Wisdom for Evaluators, Anne T. Coghlan and James C. McDavid. Thinking Outside the Box: The Contribution of Intuition/Insight, Marthe Hurteau, Sylvain Houle, and Jeiran Rahmanian. The Relationship Between Reflective Practice, Evaluative Thinking, and Practical Wisdom, Tiffany L. S. Tovey and Thomas Archibald. Intellectual Courage: From Will to Ethical Practice, Marthe Hurteau, Birgitta Larsson, and Caroline Gagnon. Knowledge Systems From Our Ancestors: An African Epistemology of Practical Wisdom In Evaluation, Mokgophana Ramasobana, Precious Tirivanhu, and Khotso Tsotsotso. PART III: HOW TO DEVELOP IT. Practical Wisdom: Learning From Failures, Michael Quinn Patton and Charmagne E. Campbell-Patton. Growing Practical Wisdom, Ricardo Ramírez, Dal Brodhead, Wendy Quarry, and Sonal Zaveri. Conclusion, Marthe Hurteau. General References. Biography Notes.