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ERIC Number: EJ1068614
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Focusing In: The Promise and Challenges of Focus Groups in Afterschool Evaluation
Schaefer-McDaniel, Nicole; Libman, Kimberly; Zeller-Berkman, Sarah; Krenichyn, Kira
Afterschool Matters, n6 p25-34 Spr 2007
In these days where "accountability" is the byword, organizations more and more frequently seek to evaluate their programs. They often hire outside evaluators to help them assess the effectiveness of their programs, to find out what works and what doesn't, and to determine what programmatic changes would be beneficial. ActKnowledge, a New York City action research organization, is one such evaluator. In this article, the authors examine an evaluation they conducted of an afterschool program operating in New York City public schools to reflect on the use of focus groups as a means of evaluating afterschool programs. Since the administrative office that hired the authors the evaluation and the directors of the program they evaluated wanted to learn more about the young people enrolled in the program and the staff that runs it, the use of focus groups as a research method seemed a logical choice. The literature on focus groups as a methodology provides a rationale for using this technique although it also suggests some of the challenges. To this research, the authors bring their own experience in evaluating the afterschool program, discuss the challenges they encountered in using focus groups, and conclude with suggestions for future work involving focus groups in afterschool evaluation.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A