Sharing Experiences With Program Evaluation
I truly believe that teaching or planning without data is like tossing a handful of darts and hoping that one hits the target, whatever or wherever that might be! The data is like a GPS system that guides our planning and hard work directly to the target. How can we miss?
—Head Start/Early Head Start Director, Region VIII
Reflect on the quote which begins this Discussion. As you think about your time in the early childhood field, to which analogy do you feel your experiences with teaching and programmatic planning fit? Have your program’s strategies, interventions, and initiatives felt more like playing a game of darts, launching each and hoping that one lands on a positive outcome; or, have they been navigated toward a cumulative goal to which you were aware before your program’s journey even began?
As you have been exploring in this module, the act of conducting program evaluations is an ongoing and essential process for any program which is quality-driven. Why then, might some programs still be participating in a game of darts? What challenges or barriers might prevent programs from using data to build upon their strengths and focus improvement efforts?
In this Discussion, you share your own experiences with program evaluation. Specifically, you share barriers and challenges which impacted a program that you have observed, been a part of, or heard about.
Review the NAEYC article/Position Statement titled “Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation: Building an Effective, Accountable System in Programs for Children Birth Through Age 8,” which explores the rationales for and indicators of effective program evaluation. Then, consider your own experiences with program evaluation. With respect to a program you know well, what need did the evaluation address? What barriers or challenges did the program experience while preparing for or participating in the evaluation?
Assignment Task Part 1
Post the following: In 1 ½ page Explain the following below:
Explain in depth one or more reasons that programs undergo evaluations. Then, describe barriers and/or challenges programs experience when trying to implement evaluations, which address the need(s). Support your writing with in-text citations and cite appropriate references following APA format to substantiate your thinking. Incorporate resources into your post. Give examples from your own experiences, including program evaluations that you have observed, been a part of, or heard about.
Read selections of your colleagues’ postings.
Assignment Task Part 2
Respond to two of your colleagues’ postings in 125 words each in one or more of the following ways:
· Propose an additional challenge or barrier which could have impacted the evaluation and why.
· Explain how a program with which you are familiar overcame a similar barrier or challenge, including strategies or tips your colleague might implement during his or her next evaluation.
· Highlight examples of personal learning that occurred as a result of dialogue with colleagues.
Cite appropriate references in APA format to substantiate your thinking.
Note: Throughout Week 2, continue the professional dialogue by answering questions your colleagues have asked.