Just spent a couple really good days with 45+ Career Development Facilitators and Career Development Specialists from public schools around South Carolina who were exploring ways to use project-based learning (PBL) in collaboration with teachers, to help kids learn about career possibilities! A really great group of folks making a difference in the lives of kids.
A PD workshop sponsored by the AWAKE Center of Excellence at the University of South Carolina.
Here is the result of a project of the American Evaluation Association’s Systems in Evaluation Topical Interest Group, Principles for Effective Use of Systems Thinking in Evaluation. The group got together over several months after beginning the project at last November’s AEA conference in Washington DC.
A systems approach to evaluation seeks to apply general principles of systems to understanding the organizations and projects we evaluate. As we have conceived them for this purpose, facets of systems consist of interrelationships between system components, diverse perspectives of actors within systems, system boundaries, and dynamics. By implementing evaluation strategies based in these facets, evaluators using systems approaches can provide valuable understanding of the complex interactions among project components.
New technologies and better understanding of the processes by which people learn are making it increasingly feasible to measure and assess a much wider range of learning outcomes, including higher order learning, critical thinking development, and so forth. This in turn will enable much more effective evaluation of the quality of education, and will enable increasingly transparent communication of learning objectives and outcomes to educational stakeholders.
These trends will have a transformational effect on education over the next decade, necessitating responsive change at all levels, from national policy to institutional organization to individual teaching and learning interactions.
My goal is to positively influence these change processes through research and evaluation that focuses on improvement of student and organizational learning.