Kirkhart, Karen

(b. 1948, Pomona, California). Ph.D., M.S.W. Social Work, University of Michigan; B.A. Psychology, Pomona College.

Kirkhart's earliest mentor in evaluation was Marcia Guttentag, to whom she dedicated her dissertation in posthumous tribute. However, it is unquestionably Michael Scriven who has had the greatest influence on her work, through his focus on values, the power of unintended outcomes, metaevaluation, and the Key Evaluation Checklist. Kirkhart's commitment to evaluation centers on the potential for social change, and this drew her to theorists and practitioners who focused on roles and contexts of evaluation: Ernest House (justice and fairness), Lee J. Cronbach (the policy-shaping context of evaluation influence), Samuel Messick (social consequences of our understandings and actions), Michael Q. Patton (the personal factor in evaluation), Anna-Marie Madison and Stafford Hood ...

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