My name is Art Hernandez and I am a Professor and Dean at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
I participated in one of the very early yearlong experiences as an AEA MSI Fellow and have served as the Director for several cohorts most recently this past year. I serve and have served as evaluator and teacher of evaluation and am very interested in the processes of cultural responsiveness in practice especially in regards to measurement and assessment. I am a member of the Indigenous, Multicultural and LA RED TIGs.
Lesson Learned: Cultural responsiveness is important for many of the reasons well-articulated in the AEA Statement and in numerous articles and presentations. However, besides all the reasons which have been promulgated, I have discovered that sometimes evaluation efforts are perceived by participants as having some degree of risk attendant either to the process, outcomes or implications or some combination of all three. Often Latina/o evaluators who come from similar cultural backgrounds can actually exacerbate this perceived risk resulting in the psychological response which is known as “fight or flight” which is characterized by resistance or non-engagement.
Hot Tip: Cultural knowledge, respect, and real relationship are important to minimize the sense of risk and maximize the nature and quality of cooperation with the evaluation effort. Latina/o evaluators should never assume cultural responsiveness as merely a matter of cultural familiarity, cultural heritage or facility with the language and instead understand and practice cultural responsiveness as a predisposition and relational action.
Applying Culturally-Responsive Communication in Hispanic/Latino Communities – Education Toolkit. Susan G. Komen (2014).
The 10 Largest Hispanic Origin Groups: Characteristics, Rankings, Top Counties – Pew Research Center: Pew Hispanic Center (2010).
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.