What brings science reveal about integrating theory and practice (How our…
What brings science reveal about integrating theory and practice
Theory and practice are integrated in the human brain. Situation recognition and response are key to this integration
Bounded rationality and satisficing, contingency theory, cognitive science, and decision science help to facilitate cutting through the messy, confusing, overwhelming chaos of the real world so that we can avoid analysis paralysis.
Six conceptual screens that, in combination, constitute a theory to practice situation recognition framework (further information refer to framework for integrating, (within this mind map)
The challenge of making sense of and taking action in a complex world
Because of the complexity of the real world it is suggested that a valuation to fit a program's situation is virtually impossible. Those who study decision-making say cannot be done.
Utilisation- focused evaluation is known because of the complex situations
Within our work those who study decision-making say it cannot be done
How our brains handle complexity
UTILISING HEURISTIC: we rely on routine "heuristics" - rules of thumb, standard operating procedures, practices behaviours, and selective perception
The confidence heuristic: the amount of information we obtain increases our confidence in our judgements, regardless of the accuracy or redundancy of the information
We make a new problem or situation representative of the things we already know, said collectively ignoring information and evidence that is unfamiliar or it does not fit are preconceptions developed through our past experiences.
Findings from cognitive science, decision science, and contingency theory triangulate to reveal that what makes thought an action possible is viewing the real world through some kind of framework from making sense of situations, framework that tells us what factors deserve priority in our sense making. This already and inevitably happens unconsciously. Is how our brains work. The issue is whether we can become more consciously and intentionally deliberative about how we engage in sense making an situation recognition
When faced with complex choices and multiple situations, we fall back on a set of rules and standard operating procedures
Evidence shows that most of the time we are running up on preprogrammed tapes
When faced with a new situation we revert and fall back on old and comfortable patterns
Classic works on BOUNDED RATIONALITY and sacrificing reveal how we reduce complexity to a manageable few adequate possibilities.
Contingency theory from organisational sociology identifies there is no one best practice because of the volatility and dynamism of the environment
Cognitive science is investigating NEURO-NETWORK LEARNING ALGORITHMS that constitute shortcuts for making sense of complexity. Decision science has been identifying and position heuristics that cut through the messy, confusing, overwhelming chaos of the real world so that we can avoid analysis paralysis and take action.
Framework for integrating utilisation- focused evaluation theory and practice
1 intended users contingencies
Get to know intended user - situation analysis starts for me in identifying and engaging primary intended users of the evaluation: their perspectives, commitment, capacity, interests, and power
2 nature of the evaluand
Understand - why is being evaluated? You must understand the evaluand.
3 evaluation purpose: findings use options
Plan/purpose - being clear about an evaluator's purpose is central to evaluating the evaluation, the source of our own professional accountability. Who is the valuation for.
4 process options
What is being observed and why - how an evaluation is conducted varies along many dimensions.
5 context and situational contingencies
Analse of observation - context has multiple layers and is dynamic. In understanding context to inform situation analysis
6 evaluator characteristics
Evaluation of the evaluation - reflecting on own. Thinking about how well my approach would fit with the context, intended users, evaluation findings, process options, and the nature of the evalund.. Reflecting on our practice and on the underlying theories that inform our practice. To excel in integrating theory with practice requires astute self-awareness.
Interacting and interdependent theory to practice dimension
Summary: great philosopher of science, George Harrison, who observed: it's all in the mind
Enhancing situation recognition and adaptive, contingency- based decision-making
Scholars of decision-making and expertise have found that what distinguishes people with great expertise is not that they have more answers than others, but they are more adept at situational recognition and more intentional about the decision making processes.
We can do this through ongoing and in-depth reflective practice to become reflective theory-based practitioners
We can do this by systematically evaluating our valuation work, engaging in case learning, and deconstructing our design tendencies and methodological decision-making.
We are already integrating theory and practice now brings because the practice (or act) at all we make sense of what to do by interpretative in the evaluation situations we face through some set of theoretical screens and constructs that operate through decision heuristics, cognitive algorithms, paradigm parameters, and constituency-based, sacrificing, and bounded rationality shortcuts.
We need to become more intentional and deliberative about how we do so.