Paradigm is a term used to capture a worldview or perspective that, in the case of research and evaluation, includes conceptions of methodology, purposes, assumptions, and values. In evaluation, a common use of the term is in characterizing the distinction between quantitative and qualitative approaches, as well as in contrasting positivism, postpositivism, constructivism, interpretivism, feminist theory, critical theory, and so on. The term's popularity stems from Thomas Kuhn's use of it in his classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Although Kuhn used the term paradigm in various ways, in one sense he considered the standard practices of science that consist of shared ways of solving problems and definitions of classic problems to be a paradigm. He also used the term to refer to a ...

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