Category Archives: evaluative thinking

learning to be an evaluator ~ many ways, many contexts

FFA-competition-JB-3-218x300For many of us we naturally think about learning to do evaluation within the context of degree programs, professional development workshops, and sometimes on the job training. In so doing education in evaluation is seen as more limited than is practically the case. Because evaluation is perhaps one of the most common forms of thinking (whether it is done well or not) there are a dizzying array of contexts in which people learn to make judgements about what good is.

Yesterday, hundreds of young people gathered in rural North Carolina to demonstrate their evaluation skills… in dairy cow judging.

participants are scored based on how well they apply dairy cattle evaluation skills learned in the classroom. Each team evaluated six classes of dairy cattle and defend reasoning for evaluation to a panel of judges

While future farmers of America may do cow judging in preparation for careers as future dairy farmers, historically the evaluation skills demonstrated were key to selecting the best, most productive and healthy herd upon which the farmer’s livelihood depended.