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The Evaluator as Responsive Instrument: Using the Integral Self-In-Context Model as a Resource for Equity-Minded Evaluation

  • 17 Oct 2018
  • 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Stith Center 791 Chambers Road, Aurora CO, 80011
  • 11


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Don't miss this special opportunity to join us for a workshop with Dr. Hazel Symonette that will deeply explore equity in evaluation. 

Workshop Description: Evaluators should abide by core principles of Respect for People and Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare (American Evaluation Association, 2004). Upholding these Guiding Principles in daily practice can be a tall order given dynamically diverse contexts governed by power and privilege/oppression hierarchies. Too often, well-meaning and well-intentioned initiatives and evaluations have unintended negative consequences. Truly offering Helpful-Help requires evaluators to cultivate deep understandings of SELF as an open, learning-centered, diversity-grounded, equity-minded Responsive Instrument operating within complex sociopolitical structures.

Dr. Hazel Symonette will lead an interactive half-day session applying her Integral Self-in-Context Model to our evaluation practices. Over many years, the Integral model evolved out of her contentious, high-stakes work as the first policy & planning analyst responsible for managing a comprehensive program information, evaluation and reporting system (1991-98) which undergirded the nation’s first statewide diversity strategic plan, “Design for Diversity.” The contours of this 20-year evolution is congruent with the American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles and the “AEA Cultural Competence Statement” in addition to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation’s Program Evaluation Standards.

This workshop introduces the Integral Evaluator Model as a multi-level framework for systematic inquiry & reflective practice that helps us mindfully cultivate empathic perspective-taking: notably, Self-to-Self (intrapersonal), Self-to-Others (interpersonal) and Self-to-Systems (social structures & systems). This holistic Developmental Evaluation model facilitates and supports Multicultural Validity—especially Interpersonal Validity and Relational Validity—through, for example, promoting empathic scanning, tracking and unpacking of WHO? factors in context: notably, who is served by whom with whom as embedded in situational, relational, temporal and spatial/geographic contexts. Doing this centers human systems dynamics---the WHO-factors---at the heart of a logic model's more conventional WHAT-factors.

You will personally ground your participation in this workshop by expeditiously working from the Inside/Out using an Advance Organizer for building your “map” of responses to the “Who Am I?” reflective exercise. Dynamic SELF-in Context assessments-along with appropriate engagement of our own lenses, filters, frames and social locations—nurtures our capacities to do responsive boundary-spanning communications, social relations and evaluations. We will together build from this foundational harvest of self-wisdoms to magnify insights and implications using Lupia’s “believability” quality criteria (2013) for evaluation practices, processes, products: Legitimacy versus Credibility.

About the Presenter: Dr. Hazel Symonette is Program Development and Assessment Specialist Emerita at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Symonette founded and directed two year- long campus-wide communities of practice focused on mainstreaming diversity-grounded, equity-minded evaluative thinking/doing/BEing: the Excellence Through Diversity Institute for faculty, staff and administrators and the Student Success Institute which included students as well as faculty, staff and administrators. Hazel brings over 40 years of work in diversity‐ and social justice- related arenas. She contributes to national and international policy explorations and conversations on culturally responsive evaluation through her scholarship and service to the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. She has offered technical assistance and professional development training on assessment and evaluation for nearly 30 years in the University of Wisconsin System and many places beyond, e.g., Association of American Colleges & Universities, AEA, Claremont Evaluation Center, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity.

To magnify intrinsic commitment as opposed to perfunctory compliance, Dr. Symonette advocates assessment/evaluation as a participant-centered self-diagnostic resource for continuous improvement, strategic innovation and image management in addition to accountability compliance. She holds two master's degrees and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in social work/community organization, sociology/social demography, and educational policy studies/sociology of education respectively.

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