Exploring the Possibilities and Methodological Challenges of Evaluation Practice : A Democratic Question

Klenowski, Valentina & Woods, Annette F. (2013) Exploring the Possibilities and Methodological Challenges of Evaluation Practice : A Democratic Question. In Lai, Mei & Kushner, Saville (Eds.) A Developmental and Negotiated Approach to School Self-Evaluation. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 253-273.

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In our exploration of the methodological possibilities and challenges of evaluation practice that foregrounds a democratic approach, we argue that having sensitivity to participants’ different positions, ideological perspectives, and values, and an understanding of the existing power relationships are paramount for the evaluators if the evaluation is to achieve its goals. This chapter draws on our experiences as evaluators in Australia, where school leaders and teachers are currently experiencing significant curriculum and assessment changes, and now work in a context of heightened accountability. Our evaluation practices with schools are used to illustrate how democratic practices can be incorporated into evaluation in ways that provide opportunities and support for school self-evaluation. It is paramount to recognise that evaluation is a political and ideological practice, and therefore is not a neutral process. Our argument is that it remains the responsibility of evaluators to design spaces that build sustainable relationships with participants and the targets of the programmes being evaluated; ensure that dialogue and deliberation are valued between all stakeholders; represent a range of interests; and give a service back to the evaluated communities by offering understandings and promoting reflective practice and informed decision-making throughout programme implementation.

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ID Code: 65702
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: democratic evaluation, methodological challenges, large-scale evaluations
DOI: 10.1108/S1474-7863(2013)0000014015
ISBN: 9781781907047
ISSN: 1474-7863
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Early Childhood & Inclusive Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Deposited On: 07 Jan 2014 01:44
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2017 20:47

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