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ERIC Number: ED480128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Even Start Participant Observation Pilot: Using Qualitative Methodologies To Enhance Evaluations.
Plonski, Paula M.
Participant observation is a classic qualitative methodology in which the researcher is immersed in the particular setting as a participant, rather than an outside observer. In this pilot study of an Even Start program, the methodology was modified by using actual program participants as observers and reporters. This enabled the crossing of certain language and cultural barriers to gather data that would otherwise be difficult to obtain, increased the sense of ownership and community among the adult participants, and increased understanding between staff and participants. It also provided information for program evaluation and change. The Even Start Family Literacy Program is the major family literacy initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Education. This pilot study of the evaluation approach was carried out in Avery County, North Carolina in 2003. In the 2002-2003 year, 31 families were enrolled in the program; 65% were English-as-a-Second-Language families. The adult participants were trained as participant observers for the pilot study, and most chose to participate, interviewing other participants. The most interesting items to emerge from the analysis of the transcripts are the cultural differences between Hispanic and Anglo participants and Hispanic participants and the staff, especially concerning the use of a full-time interpreted. Findings show that the pilot study was successful in capturing cultural identities and many aspects of the program from the viewpoints of staff and participants. (Contains 15 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A