Monthly Archives: April 2016

Maybe We Shouldn’t Assess Public Archaeology

Following last week’s post, you may sense that I am on the fence about “evaluation.” I am passionate about public archaeology and heritage work, and I believe we should strive to gather more information about how our actions affect other stakeholders. (Side note: you can learn more about how Program Evaluation professionals do this in a reply to my post by Victoria Dekle.) And yet, “evaluating” ourselves is an uncomfortable concept that brings to mind a universal system for “testing success” when success is subjective. We all have goals for our specific contexts, and stakeholder communities in those contexts who have their own priorities and criteria for “success”. How could we possibly be expected to create a methodology that could address such a tangle of potentialities? Well, we don’t have to. For my final post as Guest Editor of the MAPA blog, I am going to explore a few hypothetical arguments against evaluating public archaeology work. (As far as I can tell, there has not been much discussion about the perils of assessment, besides that people probably don’t want to be perceived as tearing down colleagues.) If the budding discussions about public archaeology outcomes continue, these arguments should be considered. Why not evaluate? Because peer review is [Read More]