Stake’s Client-Centered Approach to Evaluation

Part of the Evaluation in Education and Human Services book series (EEHS, volume 8)


The sweeping federal requirements for evaluation that were imposed on American education in the 1960s stimulated the development of a number of new approaches to evaluation. One such approach was introduced by Robert Stake in 1967 in what was to become known as the “countenance model for educational evaluation.” This approach built on Tyler’s notion that evaluators should compare intended and observed outcomes, but it broadened the concept of evaluation by calling for examination of background, process, standards, and judgments, as well as outcomes. Stake further developed his philosophy of evaluation during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and in 1975 presented his extended view under the label of “responsive evaluation.” This presentation retained the countenance approaches’s emphasis on examining the “full countenance of a program,” but it broke sharply from the Tylerian tradition of gathering data to discuss whether intentions had been realized. Instead, responsive evaluation assumed that intentions would change and called for continuing communication between evaluator and audience for the purposes of discovering, investigating, and addressing issues. In general, Stake is the leader of an emergent “school of evaluation,” which calls for a pluralistic, flexible, interactive, holistic, subjective, and service-oriented approach.


Correct Response Incorrect Response Multiple Reality Evaluation Clock Substantive Structure 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Western Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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