Ralph Tyler


Dean Gotcher

An Interview with Ralph Tyler Conducted by: Jeri Ridings Nowakowski, Ed.D. November 1981

RIDINGS: Do you think the Standards, or a profession searching for standards, will bring up some issues that will have to be resolved?

TYLER: Oh, I think that anything that causes you to look critically at what's going on will help you to identify places that have to be examined very carefully. Put another way, a professional occupation is one where there is continuous effort in the research of the profession to identify both the proper ends and the effective means of that profession. Research on the proper ends is concerned with the ethics of the profession relating the professional's work to the common good rather than the notion that what's good for General Motors is good for the country.

For example, there needs to be a continuing study of the nature of medical ethics as new ways are developed for keeping people alive a long time at a great cost. The ethical issue is: How much can society spend, if it has is limited resources, on keeping some person of age 65 alive for ten years at a cost that would cover the health services to children for perhaps 20 or 30 times that many children? This is an ethical question not easily answered, and should be a matter of continuing study. Correspondingly, for the profession of evaluation, the questions of who are the clients and what proper service can be given clients are raised. Is it proper for some people to get information that might be wrongly used? These are kinds of questions in evaluation that are continually going to come up, and they change with time."

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher  2015