Making the Case for the Humanities in Evaluation Training


Leadership and Integrative Studies

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


The author argues that evaluators who are comfortable with the interpretation of competing values—an ability that can be fostered by exposure to the humanities—might be able to contribute significant advances toward finding a better balance of methodologies in an ever-more-ambiguous world. This argument is made by describing a humanities-informed evaluation graduate course. Black-and-white worldviews and one-size-fits-all solutions are hard to reconcile in evaluation environments increasingly characterized by multiculturalism, complexity, and uncertainty. The author reflects on the place of value judgments in the graduate education of future evaluators, not as something to avoid, but as an opportunity to improve needed skills.