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Monday, September 16 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Does empowerment evaluation work? Findings from a case-study

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Kerrie Ikin  (University of New England)

End users running their own evaluations!
End users owning the evaluation results!
End users influenced by the evaluation processes!
This paper is all about empowerment: values, capacity building, ownership, power.

Come and find out about how an entire staff became involved in their school's three-year journey in an empowerment evaluation process and what the research about this process revealed.

In the New South Wales government education system in Australia, reviewing schools has undergone a sea change. Community-of-practice approaches to school planning and evaluation, followed by external but peer-led validation has become the norm. This model presumes a high level of competence in collaborative strategic planning and evaluation as well as a high level of evaluation capacity by school principals and staff. One school principal, realising the challenges that the new model posed, engaged an evaluator to develop and implement a process (empowerED) that would help his school rise to these challenges.

EmpowerED was specifically designed to strengthen the school's learning community by creating in partnership across it stronger and better professional practice. Who held the power in an evaluation was challenged as traditional evaluation roles were turned on their heads—the staff became the evaluators; the evaluator became their critical friend. Through this process, it was envisaged that staff would build capacity for change, be empowered as whole-of-school evaluators, and embrace ownership of their school's plan. The ultimate goal was to improve student learning outcomes. And the approach paid off. Findings from the concurrent research show how as staff developed transparency, openness, and trust in the process and with each other, their understanding of and input into the school's plan and directions increased, and their evaluation capacity was built. Early indications also suggest improved student learning outcomes may be in part attributable to empowerED.

avatar for Christina Kadmos

Christina Kadmos

Principal, Kalico Consulting

avatar for Kerrie Ikin

Kerrie Ikin

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, UNE Business School, University of New England
Dr Kerrie Ikin FACEKerrie began her career as a teacher and executive member in government schools across New South Wales, Australia. For over 25 years she worked at the systems level of the education department as a director of schools, senior policy adviser, and senior administrator... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 2:00pm - 2:30pm AEST