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Understanding is a kind of knowledge that comes through living in a situation with participants of that situation and gaining a practical working knowledge of what they are experiencing. It cannot be obtained through objective means alone but involves inquirers participating with those studied and examination of the inquirer's own responses to the experience as well as those of other participants. In evaluation, understanding is viewed as necessary for an evaluator who seeks to account for values underlying participants' behaviors, as well as meanings participants associate with those behaviors in their cultural context.

David D. Williams
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