This AEA365 blog by Tom Grayson provides a list of quotes from notable evaluation colleagues about the importance of evaluative thinking.
The blog argues that evaluators "must recognize that evaluative thinking is at the core of evaluation practice". A list of quotes is provided each of which express the authors' thoughts on what evaluative thinking is about. For example:
“Learning how to think evaluatively is learning how to learn and think critically… rigorous evaluative thinking combines critical thinking, creative thinking, inferential thinking, and practical thinking.”
This resource is a useful and thought-provoking piece that includes a number of useful links to articles on the topic of evaluative thinking. For ease of access, we've provided links below in the Related Resources section to the list of publications referenced in the blog.
Grayson, T. (2018). The core of evaluation: Evaluative Thinking. AEA365. https://aea365.org/blog/the-core-of-evaluation-evaluative-thinking-by-tom-grayson/
Articles listed in this blog:
- Evaluative thinking (New Directions in Evaluation, Volume 2018, Issue 158)
Index page of the Evaluative Thinking issue of New Directions in Evaluation, edited by Anne T. Vo and Thomas Archibald.
- New directions for evaluative thinking
Introduction to the issue of New Directions for Evaluation on evaluative thinking by Anne T. Vo and Thomas Archibald.
- How “beauty” can bring truth and justice to life
This chapter of the Evaluative Thinking issue of New Directions in Evaluation by Jane Davidson discusses the importance of integrating quantitative and qualitative evidence with evaluative reasoning.
- Realising the SDGs by reflecting on the way(s) we reason, plan and act: the importance of evaluative thinking
This resource from IIED "defines evaluative thinking, describes what it requires to thrive and what stifles or inhibits it, and explains how it is intimately connected to adaptive management".
- Defining and teaching evaluative thinking: Insights from research on critical thinking
This article from the American Journal of Evaluation seeks to define evaluative thinking and propose principles and strategies for teaching it.
- A historical perspective on the evolution of evaluative thinking
This chapter of the Evaluative Thinking issue of New Directions in Evaluation by Michael Quinn Patton "reviews the historical emergence of evaluative thinking as an essential approach to evaluation practice".