On the mutually informing relationship between practice and theory in…
On the mutually informing relationship between practice and theory in evaluation
What is a practical problem
Practical problems are ill structured and they demands an action as a response, there is a possibility of multiple solutions (or no solutions at all) which causes uncertainty about which concepts, principles, rules that are necessary to address the problem. Practical problems demand an action, which requires thoughtfulness and reasoned reflection to decide what one is to do.
Knowing why something happened and the problem of doing something are two different kinds of problems and demands to different kinds of knowledge.
What is practice
Theoretical knowledge is applied to solutions to practical problems
Professional practice of evaluation is often regarded as the application of the science of evaluation
schon argues that the problems faced in practice are indeterminate and untidy, not well formed and not suitable for the application of theoretical knowledge
Acting that is continuous with knowing and interactivity taken together is excellent practice
What is theory
Theory in a valuation could talk about the various bodies of conceptual or theoretical knowledge that can serve as an aid in thinking through options in a situation that practitioner faces
How does this work 'in practice'?
problem of knowledge use in policy making and in decision-making by practitioners
Why is it evaluative and social scientific knowledge not used in decision-making at the policy level?
How do teachers come to recognise some information as valuable evidence and regard other information as irrelevant
For policymakers and practitioners "use"of data and evidence is a practical problem - specifically, they ask "what should I do now given this evidence" "how does this evidence help inform my decision" "what are the consequences if I ignore this evidence"
The field of evaluation needs to attend more carefully to how it is preparing of violators for a life of the mind for evaluation practice. To fail to do so to risk evaluation becoming the province of technicians.
John Dewey - the matter of knowing and doing.
the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope. Epistemology is the investigation of what distinguishes justified belief from opinion.
Suggest there is a lack of understanding in the debate of theory and knowledge (epistemology). Identifies the relevance for grasping the problem of how to relate thinking and doing.
Within this journal it will talk about practice and theory in a more practical way by discussing and illustrating for issues - 1 was a practical problem 2 what is practice 3 what is theory 4 how this theory relates practice...