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Theory in action refers to the mechanisms through which a program is hypothesized to work to achieve its intended outcomes—children's social and ethical development, for example. A program's theory in action is often depicted as a logic model that delineates the relationships between and among program activities, intermediate states or outcomes, and the ultimate intended outcomes of the program. A program activity and intermediate outcome for children's social and ethical development might be class meetings and children's experience of a sense of community in the classroom. Evaluations with a theory-based approach can be used to test a program's theory in action or to help define it.

Rosalie T. Torres
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