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Responsive evaluation is an orientation, a predisposition, to the formal evaluation of education and social service programs. It is a disposition favoring personal experience. It draws on and disciplines the ordinary ways people perceive quality and worth. More than most other formal approaches, it draws attention to program activity, to program uniqueness, and to the cultural plurality of people. This responsive predisposition can be recognized in all evaluative research, for every composite and executive summary will include at least traces of experiences of goodness and badness.

A responsive evaluation study is a search and documentation of program quality. The essential intellectual process is a responsiveness to key issues or problems, especially those recognized by people at the sites. It is not particularly responsive to program theory ...

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