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Interpretivism is based on a philosophical framework that promotes plural perspectives in evaluations relying on qualitative approaches and natural settings. It arose as an alternative to positivist methods, and many associated ideas can be traced back to the work of Guba and Lincoln in the 1980s. Basically, interpretivism is about contextualized meaning involving a belief that reality is socially constructed, filled with multiple meanings and interpretations, and that emotions are involved. As a result, interpretivists see the goal of theorizing as providing an understanding of direct lived experience instead of abstract generalizations.

In addition, there is no separation between the evaluator and those evaluated, and the underlying principles are based on openness and dialogue. Interpretivist inquiry is, therefore, subjective, dialectic, and value laden, and consequently, ...

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