Culturally Responsive Program Evaluations

Culturally Responsive Program Evaluations

Helena Stevens (Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA) and Tracy Peed (Minnesota State University, Mankato, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3331-4.ch002

Abstract

Program evaluations in education programs are conducted to address the outcomes, experiences, and phenomena that occur from programs. Program evaluation models are plentiful, and commonly used models include objectives, summative, formative, process, and outcome approaches. The strength of the model relies on the competencies and confidence of the evaluators. When used properly models are a reliable method for judging programs and their outcomes. Absent from these models is the intentional inclusion of culture. Culture is multidimensional and intersectional and holistically affects programs. Therefore, as the cultural makeup of the education systems continues to grow in diversity, program evaluation models must consider the impacts and influences that multi-dimensional culture has on programs at all stages of planning, delivery, and evaluation. This chapter provides specific areas of cultural identity to address with explicit steps for infusing deliberate emphasis into the program evaluation models.
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Background

Programs are defined as “a temporary set of activities brought together as a possible solution to an existing issue or problem,” (Spaulding, 2014, p.3).Programs in an education system encompass a vast array of activities inclusive of, but not limited to, core curriculum delivered in classes and in-class, before, during, and after school programs that are designed to prevent, intervene, or provide ongoing support for topics on social-emotional, academic, and career matters. Evaluation is a process by which judgments are made about programs and the subsequent decisions are formed from the judgments (Spaulding, 2014). Evaluation is rarely a one-time act, rather it is an ongoing process of gathering information, assessing and judging information, and making informed decisions for further and future action. When combined, program evaluations are processes by which an individual, or a group of people, collect information from activities conducted in order to assess and judge specific targets, comprehensive materials and evidence to make decisions about further actions needed (Patton, 2010; Spaulding, 2014).

Conducting program evaluations is a vital job in education systems to better understand the effectiveness and impact of the curriculum and programs that are developed and used (Chatterji, Welner, Bridglall, Caines, & Chatterji, 2014). Program evaluations aid educators in continued refinement and transformation of education content, in order to increase the likelihood of successful intervention outcomes. Program funding (grants, annual stipends, etc.) is often contingent upon schools reporting successful program outcomes. Outcome reports utilize program evaluation findings, which schools heavily rely upon to report programs are evidence-based and yield successful outcomes. Therefore, program evaluation reports have high levels of significance and importance in the day-to day functions of many programs being delivered in K-12 schools.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Language: The spoken, written, implied communication.

Program Evaluation: The judgment and determination of value and worth of the programs offered in education systems.

Culture: The collection of multidimensional and intersectional identities.

Evaluation: A process of judging and determining value or worth.

Systems: The visible and invisible organizations and structures that are interconnected in an individual’s life.

Privilege: Benefits and rights afforded to an individual that are not afforded to all individuals.

Intersectionality: The indivisible interconnectedness and influences of cultural identities.

Bias: Subconscious or conscious predisposition or favoritism.

Abilities: The cognitive, physical, emotional, and social capacities of individuals.

Cultural identity: An individual’s self-ascribed or externally assigned distinctiveness.

Programs: The courses, curriculums, series, groups, and platforms offered in education systems.

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