CC Week: Tamera Bertrand Jones, Osman Özturgut, and Leah Nuebauar on Teaching Culturally Competent Evaluation

Hello! We’re Tamera Bertrand Jones, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University, Osman Ozturgut, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of the Incarnate World, and Leah Neubauer is the Associate Director of the Master of Public Health Program at DePaul University.

Evaluators enter the field from different academic backgrounds and possess varying levels of professional expertise. Evaluation knowledge can come from academic preparation, on the job training, and professional development.  The AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation is ripe for use in teaching evaluation. We asked national and international evaluation leaders to provide tips on ways to incorporate the tenets of culturally competent evaluation in teaching evaluation.

Tip #1: Read the statement and dissect it.   Learners can read the Statement and reflect individually and collectively about what the statement means in their specific contexts. Learners could journal their responses to questions like: What are the statement’s strengths and weaknesses? What is missing from the statement? How could the statement be applied in various programs? Instructors could use case studies to pose different scenarios and facilitate a discussion of learners’ various perspectives on solutions relevant to specific contexts.

Tip #2: Determine the learner’s location.  The learner’s location is one’s own cultural position, awareness of others’ positions, and the ability to interact genuinely and respectfully with others. The learner must also assess their technical ability and interpersonal skills.  Once an evaluator is able to adequately assess themselves, they can begin to draw a complete picture of how their abilities may match up different contexts.

Tip #3: Incorporate experiential opportunities.  The old adage “Practice makes perfect” is certainly true when it comes to evaluation.  Evaluation is a hands-on field and the more practice evaluators have in honing their craft, the better equipped they will be for future evaluations.

Tip #4: Encourage the development of mentoring relationships.  One way evaluators improve their competence is by working with other evaluators.  Encouraging learners to build coalitions with other evaluators who are different than themselves, who work in different contexts, or who work with different populations. Others’ personal stories and experiences help us to learn hard lessons without the sting of the actual experience.

RAD Resources:

The American Evaluation Association will be celebrating Cultural Competence Week. The contributions all this week come from the Cultural Competence committee. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluator.

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