Sheila B Robinson on Additional Remembrances of Evaluation Pioneers

Hello! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea35’s Lead Curator with some additional tributes to evaluation pioneers and their enduring contributions to our field.

Bob Stake on Remembering Tom Hastings

It is I, Bob Stake, wishing to pay honor to my mentor, Tom Hastings, one of the pioneers of the evaluation profession.  In the late 40s, Tom was a student of Ralph Tyler at the University of Chicago, with his fellows, Lee Cronbach and Ben Bloom.  Tyler was a specialist in Curriculum, but he and his four students moved quickly into the new field of student testing and on into the even newer field of program evaluation.  Tyler supported the teaching use of behavioral objectives and was thought to originate goal-based evaluation–but he, Cronbach, and Hastings spoke vigorously for a broad base for seeking the merit of learning, teaching, and schooling.   In “The Whys of the Outcomes,” Hastings held the roots of evaluation fast to comprehensive educational research.   Hastings joined Ben Bloom and George Madaus in writing the Handbook on Formative and Summative Evaluation of Student Learning.

At the University of Illinois in 1963, Hastings and Cronbach were joined by Jack Easley to create CIRCE, the Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation.  It housed the Illinois Statewide Testing Program until 1969 when they realized that the shift of testing away from student counseling to an accountability purpose would probably be an undoing of the educational system. University Examiner Hastings served as assessment consultant to many campus, regional and federal projects, particularly the American Association of Geographers and the National Science Foundation.  He brought David Krathwohl, Phillip Runkel, Gene Glass, Ernest House, Douglas Sjogren, James Wardrop Terry Denny, Gordon Hoke, myself and many talented graduate students into CIRCE, and they in turn brought local and world groups together to discuss testing problems and evaluation designs.  And Tom was often the first to see a draft of Lee’s writings and to nudge it more clearly toward the distinction it would ultimately receive.

Sheila B Robinson on Remembering Paul Vogt

I wish to honor W. Paul Vogt, Emeritus Professor of Research Methods and Evaluation at Illinois State University. Paul was an award-winning teacher and researcher, a brilliant man, and a kind soul. I had the privilege of knowing him as the beloved husband of a cousin. Though I was only in his company a handful of times –  family reunions and AEA conferences – I very much enjoyed knowing him and was delighted to have another evaluator in the family!

Paul was also known for his range of publications, several of which are staples on my bookshelf. The Dictionary of Statistics and Methodology: A Nontechnical Guide for the Social Sciences was invaluable when I was in grad school learning these concepts. His most recent books, When to Use What Research Design, and its companion volume Selecting the Right Analysis for Your Data are brilliantly conceived and written.

Paul was known as a lifelong learner with many and varied interests. In addition to evaluation, Paul was particularly interested in methodological choice and ways to integrate multiple methods. An ISU tribute remembered Paul as “a prolific researcher, outstanding leader, and fierce advocate for P-12 and higher education [who] demonstrated exceptional teaching and leadership abilities.” I can only add that Paul was certainly all of this, as well as a delightful person.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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