The onset of spring is a wonderful time of year. Cold weather, dreary skies, and minimal sunlight give way to warmer climes, cloudless firmaments, and sunsets that form noticeably later. Could there be a better time to celebrate the germination and growth of a new Topical Interest Group? My name is Kim Sabo Flores (Thrive Foundation for Youth) and I am David White (Oregon State University). We are proud to introduce the new Youth Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group (YFE TIG).
You might ask “Why the need for another TIG?” There are several other TIGs that engage evaluators focusing on settings, practices, and outcomes for this age group (e.g., the PreK-12 Educational Evaluation TIG; the Extension Education Evaluation TIG; the Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation TIG; among others) – so what is the problem? The fact that we are “everywhere” makes it difficult for us to locate and collaborate with one another. Over the years, we find our AEA sessions overlap, and despite our best efforts we struggle to advance our collective conversations about youth development and participation within the broader AEA context.
Therefore, 16 individuals came together during the 2011 AEA Conference in Anaheim, California to explore the possibility of carving out a unique space for those evaluators focusing on youth. From that meeting the Youth Focused Evaluation TIG was born. David and Kim were elected Co-Chairs and Mary Arnold (Oregon State University) was elected Program Chair.
It was agreed that the purpose of the TIG would be to create an inclusive and participatory space for all evaluators (both adult and youth) who want to explore the practices, settings, and outcomes of positive youth development and participation in a wide array of informal and formal contexts. Furthermore, we encourage youth and adult evaluators to explore promising practices and methods related to:
- Evaluation Capacity Building within youth serving organizations (with special attention to engaging youth)
- Program Quality of youth serving and participatory programs
- Measurement of youth development and participation
- Ethics of involving youth in research and evaluation
- Engagement of youth in conferences and publications
- Youth Adult Partnerships in evaluation
Already 50 plus members strong, the Youth Focused Evaluation TIG is thrilled to be the newest member of the of the American Evaluation Association family of TIGs and sponsor a week of Aea365.
Please join us, as we continue to advance our conversations in Minneapolis at AEA 2012. Don’t forget to join the Youth Focused Evaluation TIG and submit your proposal to AEA by March 16, 2012. We look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Youth Focused Evaluation (YFE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the YFE AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our YFE 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 email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.