ERIC Number: ED427033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Nov-4
Whose Voices Do You Hear When Participants' Voices Clash?
Ares, Nancy; Porter, Rhonda
Dilemmas emerged in the evaluation of a school improvement project that required evaluators to confront merging varied and often conflicting perspectives, sources of data, understandings of their roles as evaluators, the eventual use of the data, and the purpose of the educational reform effort. Selected examples are presented from the evaluation study in order to illuminate the challenges evaluators face when involved in multi-level, comprehensive studies of evolving school improvement projects. The dilemmas are presented in order to foster thoughtful discussions of the challenges, opportunities, and obligations evaluators face in their work with participants and those who receive their findings. Data were collected at five middle schools in the New Orleans (Louisiana ) area that were participating in the Learning Connections Project. Data were collected from each principal, 26 teachers, 461 students, and 21 parents. Linking the diverse data produced representation in determining weight in decision making. Data reduction by its nature entails losing information, and the challenges it poses can be viewed as negative consequences of program evaluation. However, they can also be seen as the impetus to reflective, careful, and thoughtful work. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (27th, New Orleans, LA, November 4-6, 1998).