Naturalistic Evaluation

Naturalistic evaluation combines the assumptions and methods of naturalistic inquiry with various approaches that attempt to blend evaluation into the cultures and lives of the people involved. The term naturalistic has both paradigmatic (basic beliefs and assumptions) and methodological (procedural and practical) meanings. In recent years, other labels, such as constructivist and interpretivist, have been used to emphasize various dimensions of the naturalistic paradigm, but the methods have continued to be mostly, though not exclusively, qualitative. Schwandt, in his Dictionary of Qualitative Inquiry, notes that these terms also suggest the study of human life with the assumption that “meaning of human action is inherent in that action, and that the task of the inquirer is to unearth that meaning.” The main objective is to use ...

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