Connoisseurship is a term that traditionally has been associated with phenomena such as wine tasting and art appreciation rather than the supposedly scientific and technical enterprise of formal evaluation. Similarly, the notion of criticism traditionally has been associated with the assessment of literary or artistic works and not with the assessment of education or other sorts of social programs. During the 1970s, however, the terms connoisseurship and criticism became part of the discourse within the evaluation field, primarily through the writings of Elliot Eisner.

The Historical Context

Eisner's introduction of the ideas of connoisseurship and criticism into the discourse of the field of evaluation was part of a more general movement within the evaluation field in the United States and Europe (especially Great Britain) during the 1970s. ...

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