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Deli Gianni

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  1 GALA 14  th   Conference, 14-16 Dec. 2007, Thessaloniki. A responsive/illuminative approach to evaluation of innovatory, foreign language programs. Dr Angeliki Deligianni EFL State School Advisor -Thessaloniki HOU Tutor Former Education Attache - London Embassy of Greece Email: ade@gecon.gr    2 Evaluating a Learning Support Program (LSP) in English as a foreign language (EFL). LSP in EFL constitutes a component of the Educational Reform 2525/97 funded by EU. It was intended to provide for students with knolwedge gaps. In implementing this reform the Greek Ministry of Education responded to the demand for lifelong learning and the autonomous learner which was guided by EU. LSP constitutes a component of this Reform and so it focuses on the development of autonomous learning. Therefore, in evaluating this program I aimed to investigate the extent to which features of autonomous learning were fostered. The conceptual and procedural framework which I constructed was grounded in recent developments in educational evaluation. It was hoped that this would serve as an instrument for evaluating innovatory language programs and that it would contribute to the developing field of educational evaluation in Greece.  3 Absence of any evaluation practices in education in Greece and oppostion to evaluation    Since 1980 there has been an absence of any kind of evaluation practices in the Greek educational system with the exception of the regular assessment of students. There has been a great deal of opposition from teashers and teacher unions every time that a political decision for any type of evaluation was announced. The responsive/illuminative approach followed in this study provides evidence that this kind of participatory evaluation model within the context of formative evaluation can be seen as a means of achieving improvement rather than numerically assessing the performance of those involved. In this model the evaluand shares the same degree of responsibility as the evaluator. This is achieved through the reflection and review stages which foster self evaluation. It is exepected that a sense of “ownership”, a term coined by Kennedy (1988), of the program/innovation could be developed in the stakeholders and unjustified fears dispelled. It was also hoped that by developing and introducing this participatory model, teachers and unionists would become less opposed to evaluation in education.  4 The rationale of this evaluation study and the choice for interpretive/naturalistic paradigm First attempts to evaluate program sought quantitative data. School advisors, in charge of this program, were asked to collect and send back to Ministry mainly quantitative data, such as number of students attending, number of students being satisfied, amount of teaching hours etc. Quantification and statistical generalisaitions were then dispatched to EU funding centres to prove that EU funds were wisely distributed. Holding a different view I decided to design an instrument to explore perspectives and shared meanings and develop insights into the particular situation of the of LSP in EFL classroom. I decided that the potential of the interpretive paradigm would best suit my situation. Within this tradition emphasis is placed on unravelling the individual’s point of view.  I also embarked on formative evaluatin techniques which are responsive to the needs of stakeholders and provide information that will illuminate the claims, concerns and issues raised by stakeholding audiences.
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