Ed Eval TIG Week: Learning, Evaluating, and Staying Strong Together by Leigh M. Tolley

Leigh M. Tolley
Leigh M. Tolley

Hello, and welcome to the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG)’s series of posts for Teacher Appreciation Week! My name is Leigh M. Tolley, and I am Assistant Professor, Secondary Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. As TIG Chair, I invite you to explore with us educational evaluation topics from a range of perspectives over the next few days. Our TIG members include PreK-12 internal evaluators, assessment coordinators, independent consultants, educational researchers, teacher preparation providers, and higher education faculty, to name a few. Ultimately, we are all interested in sharing our ideas and collaborating with each other to benefit student and teacher learning.

Lesson Learned: Education is always changing.

We all recognize the importance of context in evaluation, especially in education, where so many different factors are at play at once. However, the coronavirus pandemic introduced an element that no one anticipated, and that will influence how learning will take place for the foreseeable future—not to mention how we collect and use data to evaluate educational programs. At best, we are coping with separation from students, teachers, schools, and colleagues in this time of crisis while socially distancing ourselves. With so many unknowns about our present and our future, how can we keep supporting the field that we love, encouraging equity for those students who do not have the resources to engage in online or remote learning, and pushing for addressing Maslow before Bloom? The posts this week provide some ideas for how we can continue moving forward to improve education, learn from our experiences, and deal with changes as they come, no matter how daunting they may seem.

Lesson Learned: Let’s shine our light.

Now, more than ever, we need to value teachers and educational professionals for all that they do for our children from preschool through college and beyond. We should all take a moment to thank them and shine our light to do what we can for educators!

Lesson Learned: Lift each other up.

As we try to determine what the “new normal” will be for education, it is imperative that we continue to collaborate with each other and share best practices, whether they are tried-and-true or are emerging from our current situations. Please join us and share your expertise! Explore our social media links below, and contact our TIG’s Leadership Team at PreK12.Ed.Eval.TIG@gmail.com.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Ed Eval TIG Week with our colleagues in the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our Ed Eval TIG members. 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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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