Participatory Evaluation as Seen in a Vygotskian Framework

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In participatory evaluations of K–12 programs, evaluators develop school faculty's and administrators' evaluation capacity by training them to conduct evaluation tasks and providing consultation while the tasks are conducted. A strong case can be made that the capacity building in these evaluations can be examined using a Vygotskian approach. We conducted participatory evaluations at 9 Hawaii public schools and collected data on the extent to which various factors affected participating school personnel's learning about program evaluation. After the evaluations were completed, a trained interviewer conducted standardized interviews eliciting the participating school personnel's opinions about the methods and effects of the capacity building. Two reviewers used codes representing Vygotskian concepts to categorize the interview results. We present the results of the coding and provide conclusions about the value of using a Vygotskian framework to examine capacity building in participatory evaluations.

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