Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation (CIRCE)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
190 Children's Research Center
51 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-3770, Fax: (217) 244-0851

Professor Stake received his B.A. in Mathematics with a minor in naval science and Spanish from the University of Nebraska in 1950. He graduated with an M.A. in educational psychology in 1954 from this university. In 1958, he received his Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University. From 1955 to 1958, he was a Psychometric Fellow at the Educational Testing Service. Then, an Associate Professor and  Faculty Research Coordinator of the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In 1963, he arrived at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he assisted Thomas Hastings, Lee Cronbach, and Jack Easley in the creation of the new evaluation center, CIRCE, and in developing a program of research on program evaluation. He also became the Associate Director of the Statewide High School Testing Program. In 1975, he became director of CIRCE. He has been active in the program evaluation profession and has promoted an approach to evaluation methods called "responsive evaluation." He took up a qualitative perspective, particularly case study methods, in order to represent the personal experience and complexity of evaluation study. He received the Lazerfeld Award from the American Evaluation Association and an honorary doctorate from the University of Uppsala. 


In recent years, Dr. Stake has worked on evaluation of the Chicago Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science; Bridges, a national study of children's museums, and a study of the ethics of program evaluation. He and his associates evaluated training in Reader Focused Writing for the Veterans Benefit Administrators and the National Youth Sports Program for the NCAA. They evaluated arts education in the Guilmore Foundation's Education for All program.  His previous work focused on program evaluation theory and practice, and qualitative research methods including the case study. He teaches courses on program evaluation, case study research,  qualitative data analysis and the evaluation of curriculum.


  • With professors from the Medical College, University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master's degree program for specialists in medical education (1967).
  • Graduate course on Case Study Research Methods (1978).
  • A training unit entitled "Seeking Sweet Water --Case Study Methods in Educational Research" for AERA (1979).
  • Simultaneously but independently from Edith Terwilliger, a 300 level course, Introduction to Educational Evaluation (1981-82).
  • Evaluation for School Based Management for staff members in Chicago (1992).
  • Workshops on evaluation methods and case study.


  • Stake, R. E. & Easley, J. A. (1979).  Case Studies in Science Education.  University of Illinois:  CIRCE.
  • Stake, R. E. (1986). Quieting reform: Social science and social action in an urban youth program. Urbana:  University of Illinois Press.
  • Stake, R. E., Bresler, L., & Mabry, L. (1991). Customs and cherishing: The arts in elementary schools. Urbana,  IL: National Arts Education Research Center.
  • Stake, R. E. (1995). The Art of Case Study Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Stake, R. E. & Kerr, D. (1995) Rene Magritte, constructivism, and the researcher as interpreter.  In Educational Theory, Winter, volume 45, number 1, pages 55-61.
  • Stake, R.E. (2004).  Standards-Based and Responsive Evaluation.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Stake, R.E. (2006).  Multiple Case Study Analysis.  New York: Guilford Press.


Vita  | Publications  |  Teaching | Unpublished papers

  CIRCE --dissertation timeline | List of Dr. Stake' students |

  Stake Symposium on Educational Evaluation   |   Links of interest for evaluators


CIRCE Main page                                                                           Last update: October 4, 2010