Linda E. Lee

Special Issue

Navigating expectations, values and context: a Canadian evaluator abroad

Authors:
Pages:
75-84

This article uses the story of a multi-year project conducted in four countries in east central and southeastern Europe to illustrate the challenges faced by an evaluator working in a social, political, and cultural context different from her own. Situations involving divergent expectations and unexpected events created circumstances where the evaluator had to shift roles and approaches to ensure the evaluation could remain on course. The evaluation was deemed problematic at various stages of implementation and more successful at other times. In 2010, 6 years after its completion, questions linger as to the degree the evaluation was indeed "successful."

Fall

Integrating evaluative inquiry into the organizational culture: a review and synthesis of the knowledge base

Authors:
Pages:
99-141

The purpose of this article is to explore, through an extensive review and integration of recent scholarly literature, the conceptual interconnections and linkages among developments in the domains of evaluation utilization, evaluation capacity building, and organizational learning. Our goal is to describe and critique the current state of the knowledge base concerning the general problem of integrating evaluation into the organizational culture. We located and reviewed 36 recent empirical studies and used them to elaborate a conceptual framework that was partially based on prior work. Methodologically, our results show that research in this area is underdeveloped. Substantively, they show that organizational readiness for evaluation may be favourably influenced through direct evaluation capacity building (ECB) initiatives and indirectly through doing and using evaluation. We discuss these results in terms of an agenda for ongoing research and implications for practice.

Special Issue

Evaluating school improvement in Canada: a case example

Authors:
Pages:
151-174

This article gives a brief description of school improvement in Canada over several decades and describes the difficulties — conceptual, technical and communicative — associated with evaluating school improvement. Through a case example, the authors draw attention to the problems associated with the "live-action" world of school improvement and highlight the responsibility of researchers and evaluators to choose the appropriate method, consider the consequences of their work and be aware of the policy implications that accompany any evaluation that addresses current policy issues.

Special Issue

Building Capacity for School Improvement Through Evaluation: Experiences of the Manitoba School Improvement Program Inc.

Authors:
Pages:
155-174

The evolution of the Manitoba School Improvement Program's (MSIP) approach to evaluation as a means of building schools' capacity for continuous improvement will be described from the perspective of tile MSIP evaluation consultant. and in the context of the difficulties inherent in secondary school reform. Drawing on the experiences of the MSIP schools and the data that have been collected by and from the schools over the last seven years, this article will attempt to address two key questions: What have we learned about how to move schools into an empowerment model of evaluation? What are the benefits of empowerment evaluation to educational reform?