This review of Michael Quinn Patton’s Principles-Focused Evaluation: The GUIDE (Patton, 2017a) examines the organizational structure of Patton’s book and notes the contributions of other evaluators who share their experiences in using principles-focused evaluation with a variety of programs, including ones serving homeless youth, ones seeking solutions to global food issues, and ones working to change journalism. The GUIDE provides a wealth of informative material about Patton’s model, an evaluative tool based on the acronym GUIDE—principles must Guide, be Useful, Inspire, be Developmental, and be Evaluable—plus practice exercises to encourage reflective processing of the material and numerous charts and tables. Patton also cautions readers to avoid a “best practices” mindset by embracing uncertainty, even toward evaluation.


Principles, Principles-Focused Evaluation, Developmental Evaluation, Best Practices

Author Bio(s)

Anne W. Anderson is a doctoral candidate in the College of Education’s Literacy Studies program at the University of South Florida, Tampa, who also works in the Center for Academic Excellence at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg. Her publications include chapters in The Early Reader in Children’s Literature and Culture (with Rebecca L. Powell, 2016, Routledge), Toward a Spiritual Research Paradigm: Exploring New Ways of Knowing, Researching, and Being (2016, Information Age Publishing), and The Inside, Outside, and Upside Downs of Children's Literature: From Poets and Pop-ups to Princesses and Porridge [E-book] (2016, USF Scholar Commons), as well as articles in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education (co-authored, 2015), and Creative Approaches to Research (co-authored, 2015). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: awanderson@mail.usf.edu.

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