Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Newly Discovered Article from 1956 Reveals a Four Levels Surprise

by Jim and Wendy Kirkpatrick

We were speechless as we read an article penned by Dr. Don Kirkpatrick in 1956 that neither of us had ever seen previously. The article, published in the Training Journal, now known as T+D Magazine, is one of the earliest writings we now know of by Don on the topic of training evaluation.

As we read, we wondered what other mysteries and surprises exist in the history of the evolution of the four levels.

Click here to read Don's 1956 article, reprinted with permission from ATD.

The four levels have evolved since the 1950s, largely due to the fact that they were embraced and used by the learning and development community. Don himself admitted that he didn't recall where the idea for the iconic words Reaction, Learning, Behavior and Results came from. The newly discovered 1956 article may reveal that he was inspired by four steps advocated by Dr. Raymond Katzell, a psychology researcher at the time.

In 1959-1960, Don was asked to write an article for the Training Journal because people wanted to know more about how to evaluate the effectiveness of training. In the series of four articles he penned, the four iconic words were born.

What happened next is also part of the mystery we would like to solve with your help. We have heard that tattered copies of the four articles were circulated amongst training professionals. They are part of our Kirkpatrick Then and Now book. During the 1960s, someone numbered the steps and called them the four levels, and someone named the four levels The Kirkpatrick Model. We are interested in learning who that was. Don was not involved in this process; it was actually a surprise to him that was brought to his attention in the early 1970s.

What do you know about the evolution of the Kirkpatrick Model? Please contact us if you have any additional information we can add to our timeline.

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More 2019 Kirkpatrick Certification Program Dates Announced 
October 8, 2018

Additional program dates have been added to our 2019 event calendar with a few more coming soon. Click here to find out more.

Kirkpatrick Book Named to Must-Read List for Trainers
September 24, 2018

The best-selling book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, has been named to a list of must-reads for training professionals. Click here for more.

Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation Hit #1 on Amazon
November 6, 2016

What a success our book, Kirkpatrick's Four Levels of Training Evaluation, has been! It hit #1 in training books on amazon.com yesterday! Thank you, thank you, thank you to those of you who purchased it, reviewed it, clicked "yes" that you found reviews helpful, or simply visited the page.

It's consistently ranked in the top 25 of the Training books section on Amazon. Discover a complete blueprint for implementing the model in a way that truly maximizes business results. And delve into Jim and Wendy's new findings that, together with Don Kirkpatrick's work, create the New World Kirkpatrick Model, a powerful methodology that melds people with metrics.

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