Type of Document Dissertation Author Bertrand, Tamara Chante' Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-04102006-040806 Title Cultural Competency in Evaluation: A Black Perspective Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Linda Schrader Committee Co-Chair Marcy Driscoll Committee Co-Chair Joy Gaston Gayles Committee Member Robert Schwartz Committee Member Keywords
- Black Evaluators
- Culturally Responsive Evaluation
- Culturally Competent Evaluation
Date of Defense 2006-03-16 Availability unrestricted AbstractCultural competence in evaluation has different meanings for different evaluators. As evidenced by the literature the term “cultural competence” in itself conjures various definitions and implies certain assumptions. Given the elusiveness of an agreed upon definition, or even consistent terminology in evaluation, this research sought to understand cultural competence from a Black perspective. The goal of understanding cultural competence in evaluation from a Black perspective led to the use of a phenomenological research framework. While this research is not reflective of the collective perspectives and opinions of all Black evaluators, this exploration does attempt to provide information about the specific issues covered in this study. The purpose of this research is (1) to assess key characteristics about Black evaluators, (2) to identify the defining characteristics of cultural competence in evaluation, as identified by Black evaluators, and (3) to identify the skills one needs to become a culturally competent evaluator.
A mixed-method approach, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods was used for data collection and analysis. For this study, quantitative data were collected through questionnaires and qualitative data were collected through interviews. These methods were chosen to help support the research purpose of better understanding the population of Black evaluators as identified in the Directory of Evaluators of Color and interviewing a sample of those evaluators. A questionnaire was developed using yes-no dichotomous responses, structured response items, and open-ended questions. In-depth interviews were also conducted during and after the administration of the questionnaire. The use of both survey data and in-depth interviews allowed the researcher to gain access to more descriptive information and thus provided more insight into the perspectives of Black evaluators.
A review of the recent evaluation literature discloses several terms used when discussing the role of culture in evaluation. Despite the field’s lack of agreement on the terms used to identify the role of culture in evaluation, the researcher adopted the use of cultural competence. In all survey and interview materials, cultural competence was the chosen terminology. The agreement of both the survey respondents and the interviewees in identifying essential components of cultural responsiveness and cultural competence, despite the use of different terms, indicates the impact of the interchangeable nature of the two terms. The inconsistency in the field signals not only the lack of consistency among evaluators and researchers, but also serves to weaken the overarching argument of the importance of culture in evaluation. This research contends that the terms cultural responsive evaluation and cultural responsiveness be adopted and used when referencing the incorporation of cultural context in evaluation. Clear distinctions between cultural competence and responsiveness should be used and enforced. The survey respondents and interviewees both included the knowledge of the evaluator (personal and cultural), as well as technical evaluation skills, in identifying the defining principles of culturally responsive evaluation. These principles overlap with and help to support the existing literature on culturally responsive evaluation.
Blacks in evaluation have been an untapped research resource. Their professional and personal experiences help to add another dimension to the evaluation field. Their educational experiences show that they are credentialed and experienced in a variety of areas, including education and psychology. Their voices on cultural competence/responsiveness in evaluation are those that seem to lead the discussion in the field. Their scholarship creates a base from which to draw what we know about culture in evaluation.
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