Constructivist evaluation is that form of evaluation based on the propositions (basic assumptions) undergirding the constructivist paradigm.? The constructivist paradigm differs from other knowledge paradigms commonly in use, including the scientific, the artistic, the religious, the legal, and others of similar broad sweep.? It is based on three fundamental assumptions, which are commonly termed the ontological, epistemological, and methodological, viz:
The basic ontological assumption of constructivism is relativism, that is, that human (semiotic) sense-making that organizes experience so as to render it into apparently comprehensible, understandable, and explainable form, is an act of construal and is independent of any foundational reality.? Under relativism there can be no ?objective? truth.? This observation should not be taken as an ?anything goes? position; see the section on criteria below.
The basic epistemological assumption of constructivism is transactional subjectivism, that is, that assertions about ?reality? and ?truth? depend solely on the meaning sets (information) and degree of sophistication available to the individuals and audiences engaged in forming those assertions.
The basic methodological assumption of constructivism is hermeneutic-dialecticism, that is, a process by which constructions entertained by the several involved individuals and groups (stakeholders) are first uncovered and plumbed for meaning and then confronted, compared, and contrasted in encounter situations.? The first of these processes is the hermeneutic; the second is the dialectic.? See sections on ?discovery? and ?assimilation? below.? Note that this methodological assumption is silent on the subject of methods and, in particular, on the subject of ?quantitative? vs. ?qualitative? methods.? Both types of methods may be and often are appropriate in all forms of evaluative inquiries.
It is not appropriate to ?mix and match? paradigms in conducting an evaluation, for example, utilizing both scientific (positivist) and constructivist propositions within the same study.? This is not a call for ?purity? nor is it intended to be exclusionary.? It is simply a caveat that mixing paradigms may well result in nonsense approaches and conclusionsthe content of your page here.