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Close Up and Personal: The Effect of a Research Relationship on an Educational Program Evaluation


by Robin A Mello — 2005

This article addresses the construction of "critical friendships" within the practice of one particular program evaluation. It focuses on the evolution of relationships developed during one 2-year program evaluation study that examined a collaborative educational project. Findings show that a caring interest and mentoring rapport developed between program constituents and evaluator (the author of the study). Further, this study suggests that these relationships were essential to how formative and summative feedback was used. This article suggests that the interplay between evaluator and constituents is best practiced through what House and Howe call a methodological advocacy stance. Finally, it encourages further discourse and investigations into the ways that program evaluation is carried out in order to more thoroughly understand how relationships influence evaluation methodology and practice.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 10, 2005, p. 2351-2371
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12196, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 12:53:24 PM

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About the Author
  • Robin Mello
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    E-mail Author
    ROBIN MELLO is assistant professor of theatre, program evaluator, and coordinator for the K–12 Theatre Education Program at the Peck School of the Arts, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Previously, she was a research associate at the Program Evaluation and Research Group at Lesley University, where she evaluated a wide variety of formal and informal educational programs.
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