“The Unbearable Lightness of Evidence” — J. Bradley Cousins – May 3rd

From http://crecs.uottawa.ca/  Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS)

“There is no means of testing which decision is better because there is no basis for comparison.” Such was the quandary of Tomáš, the famed protagonist of Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.

But then again, there’s evaluation.

When we evaluate, we judge. When we judge, we compare. When we compare, we gather our observations and hold them up against something.

We do this every day, sometimes thousands of times. And when we throw in evidence, systematically collected evidence, we have “evaluation,” a domain of professional inquiry and practice with a rich, albeit recent, history.

But evidence, in and of itself, is light. It is shallow, static, even pedantic. We need to make it heavier. We need to make it worth something. We need to make it useful. Useful as leverage for positive change in programs and policies. Useful as a guide to professional, practical decision making. Useful for deep practice-based exploration, inquiry and learning.

Professor Cousins will reflect on a career-long quest to understand evaluation use, encompassing research and practice on making evaluation useful, the power of collaboration and participation, and the challenges of cultural context. Along the way, he will share postcards of insight and amusement, as well as thoughts about unlocking the power and potential of evaluation to bring about social betterment.

Over a 30-year span, Brad Cousins has published numerous books and articles on evaluation theory and practice, in education and beyond. He is recognized globally as a leading researcher and authority on evaluation use, participatory and collaborative practice, and evaluation capacity building.

The presentation will be in English.

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Desmarais Building (DMS), Room 12102, 55 Laurier Ave. East, Ottawa

Register and more details here: http://www.uottawa.ca/alumni-week/content/faculty-education-lecture

 

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