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Situated Research Design and Methodological Choices in Formative Program Evaluation


by Jonathan Supovitz ó 2013

Design-based implementation research offers the opportunity to rethink the relationships between intervention, research, and situation to better attune research and evaluation to the program development process. Using a heuristic called the intervention development curve, I describe the rough trajectory that programs typically follow as they evolve, and argue that research design considerations and methodological choices are best made in consideration of where interventions are along this curve. Further, I contend that, as programs develop, situational influences play a major role in their evolution and consequently require increased attention to design and methodological considerations. By viewing research as an integral part of a programís development, by making design and methodological choices in consideration of where programs are in their development, and by considering that the situation in which programs evolve as a potential source of change in the nature of the program itself, we alter fundamental perspectives on how research can best contribute to the steady work of building robust programs for educational improvement.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 112. No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 14, 2013, p. 372-399
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18357, Date Accessed: 10/19/2017 11:14:46 PM

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About the Author
  • Jonathan Supovitz
    University of Pennsylvania
    E-mail Author
    JONATHAN A. SUPOVITZ is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvaniaís Graduate School of Education and co-director of CPRE. He is an accomplished mixed-method researcher and evaluator and has published findings from numerous educational studies and evaluations of school and district reform efforts. He has written widely on the reform implementation process, the role of leadership in school and system improvement, how data can be used for instructional and organizational inquiry, and the influence of testing policy in America. He teaches courses on the policy and instructional uses of assessment, evidence-based leadership, mixed methods research, and organizational learning. He also leads the Evidence-Based Leadership strand of the Mid-Career Leadership Program at the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his doctorate in education policy from Harvardís Graduate School of Education; a masterís degree in public policy from Duke University; and a BA in history from the University of California at Berkeley. He has taught English and social studies in Boston, Massachusetts and Queretaro, Mexico.
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