News & Updates

Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment opens with international conference in Chicago

by The College of Education  /   Jul 3, 2013

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The Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) held its inaugural conference in April, and it did what any innovative and ground-breaking first conference should do. In addition to hosting 265 conference registrants and offering 59 breakout sessions and 120 paper, roundtable, and symposium sessions, the conference also examined the past, celebrated its present, and looked to the future to consider what its next uncharted steps might be.

Created in 2011 by the College of Education, CREA has a specific mission designed to be executed on a global platform: to address the vital need for policy-relevant research in evaluation and assessment that explores the cultural and contextual dimensions of social and educational interventions.

Registered participants represented the United States (including a large contingent from Hawaii), indigenous nations, and Germany, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Greece, Australia, and Denmark.

CREA is directed by Stafford Hood, who is the associate dean for research and research education and the Sheila M. Miller Professor of Education. CREA's associate director and Senior Fellow is Thomas Schwandt, professor of Educational Psychology.

The conference convened the CREA community in Chicago to collectively examine the past by conducting scholarly inquiry into the role of cultural context that surrounds evaluation, assessment, research, and scholarship. A small, committed, and vocal group of evaluation and assessment scholars (particularly in evaluation) spearheaded this movement more than a decade ago, according to Hood, which helped pave the way for the creation of CREA.

To view additional photos of the conference, click here.

The event's present-day focus was to formally launch CREA, which Hood says is unique in its focus on the role, impact, and utility of the study of cultural context in educational evaluation, assessment, research, and policy. "I am reasonably certain we are the only center nationally and internationally with such a focus," Hood said.

With no rest for the weary, CREA is looking to the future to consider all that transpired during the conference and to identify its next phase of work.

Keynote speakers for the conference were Eric Jolly, president, Science Museum of Minnesota; Rodney Hopson, Duquesne University, past president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA); and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, director, School Research Center and the Laboratory of Educational Assessment, Research and Innovation, University of Colorado-Denver.

Hood referred to the keynote addresses as "phenomenal" and said that the two invited panels of past presidents of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the AEA added much to the conference. Those panelists were AEA past presidents Jennifer Greene, College of Education at Illinois, and Karen Kirkhart, Syracuse University; and AERA past presidents Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Carol Lee, Northwestern University.

A personal highlight for Hood was the formal welcome and closing by representatives from the American Indian Center of Chicago, who provided “ceremony” as appropriate protocol for "acknowledging the indigenous people of the land," according to Hood.

"That was a very intentional and critically important protocol for us to follow, especially when we consider the mission of CREA and particularly in view of the substantive representation and participation of indigenous people in the CREA community," Hood said.

"Clearly, the work of CREA and the CREA community has a very strong social justice agenda that focuses on prioritizing, serving, and improving the circumstances of those people in communities that have traditionally been disenfranchised by a dominant society," Hood said. "That is where we are focusing our attention and that is where we're hoping to see the presence and impact of our work."

It is the College's aspiration that CREA will establish new benchmarks in educational research, evaluation, and assessment unique among its peers, according to Dean Mary Kalantzis, adding that "culturally sensitive and responsive practices both recognize ethnicity and position culture as central to the research process."

Staying true to its global focus, the Center already boasts a partnership with Dublin City University (DCU) that is reflected in the establishment of CREA at DCU in the School of Education Studies under the leadership of Professors Joe O’Hara and Gerry McNamara. Dublin City University also has plans for creating an Institute of Education in coming years, according to Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU. The institute, which will be one of the largest in Europe, will engage in a wide range of innovative educational research practice, "and I am convinced that our association with CREA will add significantly to its impact," MacCraith said.

In retrospect, Hood said that one positive outcome of the conference was that it provided a “safe space” for younger members of the CREA community to engage with more senior scholars in "substantive, meaningful, and sometimes even intense, debate, but all the while growth was also nurtured in that space."

Hood said that the inaugural event set a high standard for future conferences, and that he and the CREA community owe much of its success to the CREA conference staff (Team CREA).

The content of the CREA inaugural conference truly encompassed its mission and work, as evidenced by the breadth of papers, talks, and breakout sessions that transpired. 

CREA-Dublin City University Founding Director and Affiliate Researcher Professor Joe O'Hara has been Elected as the Next President of European Educational Research Society!

Check out a small snippet about his election below.

"Prof Joe O'Hara, Professor of Education at the DCU Institute of Education, has been elected as next President of the European Educational Research Association (EERA). Founded in 1994 EERA is a European-wide network of educational associations which boasts more than 40 regional and national associations from 35 different countries as members. EERA connects educational researchers from Portugal to Russia and from Iceland to Turkey. EERA also enjoys worldwide partnerships with educational associations such as the World Education Research Association (WERA) and takes part in discussions within European networks on the development of programmes in support of research. EERA organizes the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), one of the most important European conferences covering the broad field of educational research which annually hosts up to 2,500 researchers.  A key aim of EERA is to support high quality educational research – research which is aware of its own context as well as the transnational contexts and reflects political and cultural differences."

See the full article here.


Check out CREA's pre-conference workshops! Be sure to register early to reserve your spot!

CREA Pre-Conference Workshops

After selecting the workshops you would like to attend, visit http://www.evaluationconference.org/p/cm/ld/fid=411 to register.

Stafford Hood

Dr. Hood, who has had a long-standing relationship with the School of Education Studies at Dublin City University (DCU), was appointed an Adjunct Professor at that institution. Dr. Hood also helped establish the Centre for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment at DCU. More information is available at DCU's site.

Dominic Combs and Leah Peoples

Two of CREA's graduate staff, Leah Q. Peoples and Dominic Combs, were selected for the prestigious and highly competitive American Evaluation Association's Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program (GEDI). The GEDI program is dedicated to expanding the number of graduate students of color and other underrepresented group sin the field of evaluation by providing an internship and evaluation training opportunities for one year. Additionally, the GEDI program aims to facilitate critical thinking and practice focusing on evaluations conducted within underrepresented communities.

More information on the GEDI program can be found here.

Screen capture of interview with Jennifer Greene

CREA core and affilliate personnel trekked on to AEA Evaluation 2014. Selected appearances can be found here.

Screen capture of interview with Rodney Hopson

Professor Rodney Hopson discusses how culture affects evaluation. View the full interview.

Stafford Hood

CREA Director Professor Stafford Hood gave the Inaugural Lecture for The School of Education Studies and EQI – the Centre for Evaluation, Quality and Inspection - at Dublin City University. More details here.

Cover for the book Continuing the Journey to Reposition Culture and Cultural Context in Evaluation Theory and Practice.

Now available here!

This volume in the series, Evaluation and Society, is edited by Stafford Hood, Rodney Hopson, and Henry Frierson. Contents include the following sections:
  • Section I: CRE Theoretical and Historical Legacies and Extensions
  • Section II: Evaluators' Journeys of Introspection and Self-Exploration
  • Section III: Applications of CRE in Global and Indigenous School Contexts
  • Section IV: Claiming New Territories of CRE: Culturally Specific Methods, Approaches, and Ecologies.
Additional information about this publication is available at Dublin City University's CREA Publications page.

Logo for EQI Culturally Responsive Evaluation & Assessment

This evaluation of a secondary school in north Dublin was carried out in conjunction with Educate Together, with support from the European Commission under the European Refugee Fund or European Integration Fund, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Department of Justice and Equality, and Pobal. More information is available at DCU CREA's research page.

James D. Anderson

See the 11th AERA Brown Lecture in Education Research, "A Long Shadow: The American Pursuit of Political Justice and Education Equality," by Professor James D. Anderson, CREA Core member, here. More information and a copy of the report is available here. General information about the Brown lecture is available here at the American Educational Research Association's site.

Speakers at 11th EES Biennial Conference

CREA core and affilliate personnel, along with CREA 2014 guests, attended the 11th EES Biennial Conference in Dublin, Ireland, on September 29, 2014 - October 3, 2014. Keynote speakers included CREA Affiliate Jennifer Greene. 

Image copyright © 2013 ees2014.eu

Cover for article from Diversity in Higher Education

Fiona Cram and colleagues published a new book: Maori and Pasifika Higher Education Horizons (2014).

This book, part of the Diversity in Higher Education series edited by Henry T. Frierson, is edited by Fiona Cram, Hazel Phillips, Pale Sauni, and Clark Tuagalu.

Rodney Hopson

This video series, from the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning (now Equal Measure), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and Duquesne University, features participants in the RWJF Fellowship Program, including CREA Affiliate Rodney Hopson, speaking about their experiences. Additional information about the series is available at Equal Measure's site.

College of Education building at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

his post, appearing in the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment's blog, is by Nora Gannon-Slater, Stafford Hood, and Thomas Schwandt, and discusses CREA's inaugural conference and advancing the role culture plays in assessment theory and practice. Read the full post.

Cover for journal AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples

Fiona Cram and colleagues publish a new article: Developing a Kaupapa Māori Research Project to Help Reduce Health Disparities Experienced by Young Māori Women and their Babies. The article, by Beverly Lawton, Fiona Cram, Charrissa Makowharemahihi, Tina Ngata, Bridget Robson, Selina Brown, and Warahi Campbell, appeared in AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, Volume 9, Issue 3 (2013). The abstract and a copy of the article are available at the AlterNative journal's site.

Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment opens with international conference in Chicago

Jul 3, 2013, 00:00 AM by The College of Education
The Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) held its inaugural conference in April 2013 in Chicago.

The Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) held its inaugural conference in April, and it did what any innovative and ground-breaking first conference should do. In addition to hosting 265 conference registrants and offering 59 breakout sessions and 120 paper, roundtable, and symposium sessions, the conference also examined the past, celebrated its present, and looked to the future to consider what its next uncharted steps might be.

Created in 2011 by the College of Education, CREA has a specific mission designed to be executed on a global platform: to address the vital need for policy-relevant research in evaluation and assessment that explores the cultural and contextual dimensions of social and educational interventions.

Registered participants represented the United States (including a large contingent from Hawaii), indigenous nations, and Germany, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Greece, Australia, and Denmark.

CREA is directed by Stafford Hood, who is the associate dean for research and research education and the Sheila M. Miller Professor of Education. CREA's associate director and Senior Fellow is Thomas Schwandt, professor of Educational Psychology.

The conference convened the CREA community in Chicago to collectively examine the past by conducting scholarly inquiry into the role of cultural context that surrounds evaluation, assessment, research, and scholarship. A small, committed, and vocal group of evaluation and assessment scholars (particularly in evaluation) spearheaded this movement more than a decade ago, according to Hood, which helped pave the way for the creation of CREA.

To view additional photos of the conference, click here.

The event's present-day focus was to formally launch CREA, which Hood says is unique in its focus on the role, impact, and utility of the study of cultural context in educational evaluation, assessment, research, and policy. "I am reasonably certain we are the only center nationally and internationally with such a focus," Hood said.

With no rest for the weary, CREA is looking to the future to consider all that transpired during the conference and to identify its next phase of work.

Keynote speakers for the conference were Eric Jolly, president, Science Museum of Minnesota; Rodney Hopson, Duquesne University, past president of the American Evaluation Association (AEA); and Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, director, School Research Center and the Laboratory of Educational Assessment, Research and Innovation, University of Colorado-Denver.

Hood referred to the keynote addresses as "phenomenal" and said that the two invited panels of past presidents of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the AEA added much to the conference. Those panelists were AEA past presidents Jennifer Greene, College of Education at Illinois, and Karen Kirkhart, Syracuse University; and AERA past presidents Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Carol Lee, Northwestern University.

A personal highlight for Hood was the formal welcome and closing by representatives from the American Indian Center of Chicago, who provided “ceremony” as appropriate protocol for "acknowledging the indigenous people of the land," according to Hood.

"That was a very intentional and critically important protocol for us to follow, especially when we consider the mission of CREA and particularly in view of the substantive representation and participation of indigenous people in the CREA community," Hood said.

"Clearly, the work of CREA and the CREA community has a very strong social justice agenda that focuses on prioritizing, serving, and improving the circumstances of those people in communities that have traditionally been disenfranchised by a dominant society," Hood said. "That is where we are focusing our attention and that is where we're hoping to see the presence and impact of our work."

It is the College's aspiration that CREA will establish new benchmarks in educational research, evaluation, and assessment unique among its peers, according to Dean Mary Kalantzis, adding that "culturally sensitive and responsive practices both recognize ethnicity and position culture as central to the research process."

Staying true to its global focus, the Center already boasts a partnership with Dublin City University (DCU) that is reflected in the establishment of CREA at DCU in the School of Education Studies under the leadership of Professors Joe O’Hara and Gerry McNamara. Dublin City University also has plans for creating an Institute of Education in coming years, according to Professor Brian MacCraith, president of DCU. The institute, which will be one of the largest in Europe, will engage in a wide range of innovative educational research practice, "and I am convinced that our association with CREA will add significantly to its impact," MacCraith said.

In retrospect, Hood said that one positive outcome of the conference was that it provided a “safe space” for younger members of the CREA community to engage with more senior scholars in "substantive, meaningful, and sometimes even intense, debate, but all the while growth was also nurtured in that space."

Hood said that the inaugural event set a high standard for future conferences, and that he and the CREA community owe much of its success to the CREA conference staff (Team CREA).

The content of the CREA inaugural conference truly encompassed its mission and work, as evidenced by the breadth of papers, talks, and breakout sessions that transpired.