When Smart People Evaluate

2009-04-29-hpt_bookjacket-thumbMichele Lamont in How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment opens the Pandora’s Box of peer review, the primary form of evaluation in higher education. Lamont’s curiosity, like Pandora’s, reveals secretive deliberations that all too often amount to judgments of quality based on the similarity of the work being judged to that of the judges. Lamont examines differences across disciplines, highlights the tension between the idea of having independently established criteria and standards and the inevitability of situational deliberation on what is good or bad, and ultimately calls for a more open, transparent approach to evaluation in higher education. In this later move, she searches for the hope that Pandora found at the bottom of the box.

Lamont describes the details of her book in a short essay in the Huffington Post.

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