Evaluation 2016: Evaluation + Design

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Pedagogy of Evaluation: Using Paulo Freire's Principles to Design Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation

Session Number: 1241
Track: Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Freire, Pedagogy, Principles
Session Chair: Michael Quinn Patton [Founder & Director - Utilization-Focused Evaluation]
Discussant: Michael Baizerman [university minnesota]
Presenter 1: David M Fetterman [President - Fetterman & Associates]
Presenter 2: Thomaz Kauark Chianca [Managing Partner - COMEA Relevant Evaluations]
Presenter 3: Thereza Penna Firme [CESGRANRIO FOUNDATION]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Claudius Ceccon
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Vathsala I Stone [Research & Evaluation Director, Center for Assistive Technology - UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO, NY]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Atrium Ballroom B

Abstract 1 Title: Transformative Empowerment Evaluation and Freireian Pedagogy: Alignment with an Emancipatory Tradition
Presentation Abstract 1:

A model of Transformative Empowerment Evaluation will be presented based on a Freireian Alignment in Principle and Practice. Empowerment evaluators help people evaluate themselves with a specific aim: to help them build capacity, become more self-determined, and take charge of their own lives. There are two streams in empowerment evaluation. The first is practical and focuses on repairing and improving existing systems. The second is transformative and is designed to promote individual, organizational, and societal transformation. They overlap in practice, since they are designed to help people think evaluatively. However, transformative empowerment evaluation most closely resembles Freireian thinking and practice. This presentation will highlight transformative empowerment evaluation’s role to promote critical thinking and authentic dialogue. In addition it is a useful tool to help people question assumptions and pre-existing arrangements. Finally, transformative empowerment evaluation promotes change, rather than reinforce a status quo that is not working.


Abstract 2 Title: Pedagogy in process and evaluation: Learning from Paulo Freire’s work in Guinea-Bissau
Presentation Abstract 2:

Paulo Freire deeply believed that people are the subject of their own learning. This implies that educators should not work with preconceived schemes/plans; rather, they should engage in a dialectic process with the people, who will provide the elements on which to build the best learning approaches and strategies for their specific context, culture and demands –a pedagogy in process: continuously shaped and improved to better serve the needs of the ones engaged in the educational process. Those ideas, even though developed prior to the establishment of evaluation as a professional field, had and still have many implications to the theory and practice of evaluation. This presentation will contribute by discussing a case held in Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) where Freire and a group of Brazilian educators applied, created, or adapted some of his main ideas on pedagogy on a national literacy program immediately after the country’s independence from Portugal.


Abstract 3 Title: Pedagogy of Street Children: Evaluation Principles in Practice
Presentation Abstract 3:

The pedagogy of street children involves honoring, respecting, and engaging with the street wisdom and lived experience of these destitute youth. Traditionally disadvantaged, disdained, and disregarded, Freire saw them as a valued source of knowledge about an important arena of life. Moreover, he viewed them as capable of learning, reflection, critical thinning (through dialogue and mutual respect), and ultimately transformation. No group better illustrates and illuminates the pedagogy of the oppressed than the pedagogy of street children. Both, together, illuminate the pedagogy of evaluation.


Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract: 

Evaluation designs differ on what principles undergird and inform the design process.  Collaborative, participatory, and empowering evaluations are well-aligned with the principles that are the basis for Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a book of enduring influence worldwide since its publication in 1968. The future of evaluation depends upon people being willing and able to engage in critical thinking.  What sets Freire's approach to critical thinking apart is its fundamentally dialogic nature.  For Freire, critical thinking isn't primarily an individual skill.  It is an interactive process.  This has implications for how we conceptualize evaluative processes and engage with participants in those processes. Freire’s approach to dialogic engagement was based on integrating evidence, perspective, and experience. In this regard, Freire’s pedagogical insights have much to teach us about how to engage in collaborative, participatory, empowering evaluations, and utilization-focused evaluations.



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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 3, 2016. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 3, 2016 all sales are final.