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Teaching Evaluation That Supports Social Justice and Social Change

Veronica Thomas  Ryan Kilmer

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 This webinar highlights strategies for teaching and implementing evaluation approaches that are guided by values of social justice, cultural competence, contextual sensitivity, and community/stakeholder engagement. The presenters are Veronica Thomas from Howard University and Ryan Kilmer from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dr. Thomas discusses how instructors can include pedagogical content and strategies to help students identify and work through bias and unchallenged assumptions and to acquire the skillset and sensibilities to plan quality evaluations tied to social justice aims. She provides illustrative examples of how issues of social justice, diversity, and inclusion can be at the center, rather than the margins, of the teaching of evaluation. Dr. Kilmer describes a partnership-based approach to evaluation and strategies for students to learn by doing. He discusses recommendations for how to build partnerships characterized by shared knowledge and collaborative processes; evaluations that yield actionable guidance for programs, organizations, and systems; and real-world opportunities for students to learn to develop pragmatic and usable evaluations that facilitate social and community change. Collectively, these presentations provide instructors with insights for helping students build evaluation skills and knowledge that are applicable across various settings and contexts and that address some of the challenges of conducting evaluations with diverse populations and partners.