At Evaluation 2012, I attended “Advice for novice evaluators,” an engaging panel comprised of the following evaluators whose experience ranges from 13-47 years: Arthur Hernandez, Jeanne Hubelbank, Michael Morris, Katye Perry, Robert Stake, and Sue Lin Yee. Each panelist was given the opportunity to offer wisdoms of practice, and all gave substantive advice that I look forward to sharing with my future evaluation students.
I wish I could properly credit the panelist who proffered this astute aphorism:
Developing a professional identify doesn’t always come from what you do, but how you think of yourself.
It reminds me of one of my favorite AEA365 posts: John LaVelle on Personal Statements About Evaluation – published March 25, 2010. Read the original post here and you’ll even see a comment from me!
Among other things, LaVelle tasks evaluators to Develop a personal statement of what evaluation means to you and how it can and should be practiced in dynamic, fluid, and political organizational and community environments. Given AEA12’s insightful conference theme, I would now consider asking evaluators to describe how evaluation can and should be practiced in complex ecologies comprised of relationships, responsibilities, and relevance.
I ask evaluation students to complete an evaluation personal statement as a required course assignment. I couldn’t possibly ask blog readers to do the same, but I will ask you this: if you were to write such a statement, what key words or phrases would most certainly be included in yours?