Thursday, 7 May 2009

Culturally Responsive Evaluation

Found an article in the Encyclopaedia of Evaluation (SAGE publications) that gave me one or two points to think about - Culturally Responsive Evaluation (Stafford L. Hood and Barbara Rosenstein).

This article was looking primarily at educational evaluation in general (i.e. not specific to creativity) and some anthropological research as an appendix to the main article. Education is a key domain in which evaluation and assessment takes place (others that spring to mind after browsing this encyclopaedia include Health, Finance and Decision Science).

The article discusses how people from different cultures can be evaluated in the same set of evaluations and whether cultural implications are overlooked to some extent in traditional evaluation.

Leander Boykin (no reference given), working in the 1940's and 1950's, came up with "a set of 10 guiding principles, characteristics and functions of effective evaluation". I could try and look these up, although I think they've probably been replicated a few times since then if they have stood the test of time. Haven't seen this reference to Boykin before but then I've been reading work from different disciplines to this before now.

Ralph Tyer is presented as a major figure in educational evaluation. He placed emphasis away from 'achievement testing', to include instead the merit and value of teaching, influence of curriculum and student growth: in other words more 'value added' concerns.

I wonder how 'value-added' is measured in education, for league tables? I think its to do with taking results at a younger age, say SATS, and comparing them to results at leaving age (GCSEs and/or A-levels) - but then how does this work for primary schools, or to capture improvement during ages when students are not assessed (e.g. are they assessed between starting school and SATS)? Would be good to look this up.

The relevant points I got from this article:
  • Remember who is the audience you're evaluating for and what is the point of this evaluation?
  • Culture has a large influence on evaluating the 'worthiness' of something. To evaluate from a multicultural (cf. multi discipline/cross-paradigm) perspective, you need to recognise the input of these implications and include it in the evaluation methodology - perhaps including people who are familiar with a particular perspective/culture or at least take guidance from such people.

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