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Title:A case study of a school district new principal mentoring program
Author(s):Hood, Lisa
Director of Research:Greene, Jennifer C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Greene, Jennifer C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):DeStefano, Lizanne; Hackmann, Donald G.; Ryan, Katherine E.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):program theory evaluation
Abstract:In an effort to learn more about evaluation theory and practice, particularly the tensions and benefits of integrating two different evaluation approaches, this study was a critical reflection of the issues and tensions related to blending program theory evaluation and constructivist evaluation into one evaluation approach that I labeled constructivist program theory evaluation. A past program evaluation of a school district’s new principal mentoring program served as the “case’ that underwent a reflective metaevaluation. This metaevaluation study explored two questions. First, how did integrating constructivist and program theory evaluation affect the quality of the evaluation? Second, how did this integration of two evaluation theories affect the utility of the evaluation? There were three primary data sources used to answer those research questions: an analysis of entries from a reflection journal that was kept during the time of the evaluation, interview responses from a metaevaluation panel that consisted of program evaluators and mentoring program administrators, and a comparative analysis using five program evaluations. The findings from this analysis suggested that the strengths of the evaluation were that it provided good contextual understanding of the program, fairly represented multiple stakeholders, and that the program theory structure aided the readers’ understanding of the program and led to new insights about how programs might be improved. As for weaknesses of the evaluation, the study found that the contextual factors surrounding the mentoring program were not explored as broadly as they should have, evidence of causuality was not presented, and the easy convergence of multiple stakeholder program theories suggested a possible bias. The thematic analysis found three themes that highlight the importance of context in program evaluation, the difficulty of representing program complexity, and the importance of identifying clear criteria of merit and worth and clarifying their sources.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Lisa Hood
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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