College of Education

Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment

CREA Sixth International Conference Preconference Workshops

  Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

(Full Day) 
Title: Theoretical Foundations of Culturally Responsive Evaluation
Rodney K. Hopson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Karen E. Kirkhart, Syracuse University

Workshop description:  This three-hour workshop focuses on the theoretical foundations of Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE) and illustrates strategies that operationalize it in evaluation practice. It is intentionally didactic yet conversational. It sets theory against the conference theme of interrogation to emphasize the intersection of theory and praxis.  We will set the context with a reflection on the relevance of racism and colonialism in the current moment of our country and where the evaluation profession sits within that. Against this backdrop, we highlight the history of CRE’s development and identify key theoretical elements. We examine theoretical intersections from our respective academic training and invite participants to reflect on how their own theoretical perspectives may enrich or constrain cultural responsiveness. In closing the workshop, we will return to fundamental issues such as grounding CRE in social justice and how this location poses important metaevaluation questions that connect to both accountability and responsibility.


Workshop description: The field of evaluation is being challenged to utilize a process that considers who is being evaluated and who is conducting the evaluation. MPHI has worked to develop useful frameworks, tools, and approaches that evaluators could consider focusing on the ways that race and culture might influence an evaluation process; this has resulted in the development of a framework for conducting evaluation using a culturally responsive and racial equity lens. This workshop focuses on the practical use of a racial equity lens when conducting evaluation. The framework argues that culture and race are important considerations when conducting an evaluation because we believe that there are both critical and substantive nuances that are often missed, ignored, and/or misinterpreted when an evaluator is not aware of the culture of those being evaluated. Participants will be provided with a Template for Analyzing Programs through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens, designed to focus deliberately on an evaluation process that takes race, culture, equity, and community context into consideration. Presenters will also share a “How-to Process” focused on the cultural competencies of individuals conducting evaluations, how such competencies might be improved, and strategies for doing so. This “How-to Process” is the result of thinking around developing a self-assessment instrument for evaluators, is based primarily on the cultural-proficiencies literature, and relates specifically to components of the template. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small-group exercises to apply the concepts contained in the template to real-world evaluation processes. Based on these experiences, participants will gain practical knowledge on the use of the lens.




Workshop description: Enacting culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) with diverse Latinx communities demand evaluators employ culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate approaches throughout all phases of evaluation. This workshop will apply CRE for working with Latinx-serving organizations to address complex issues. The session will introduce a history of social justice theories and democratic principles as a foundation to CRE. The presenter will frame culturally relevant historical contexts to highlight Latinx lived experiences, identity, and values. The facilitator will describe and demonstrate the nine-step CRE process by Frierson and colleagues(2010) using practical examples from evaluations conducted with Latinx communities. The presenter will also discuss strategies for applying community engaged and participatory approaches to guide Latinx-focused evaluations. Finally, participants will engage in self-reflection and self-awareness exercises to illustrate how our biases, prejudices, and cultural positionality influences our evaluations when working with Latinx communities.


Title: Transformative Mixed Methods Design I & II
Donna Mertens, Professor Emeriti, Gallaudet University

Workshop description: The sophistication of transformative mixed methods designs in research will be explained and demonstrated through illustrative culturally responsive examples taken from diverse sectors and geographical regions. Transformative mixed methods designs will include applications for evaluation that supports designing a culturally responsive intervention and determining its effectiveness. Participants will have the opportunity to create transformative mixed methods designs using vignettes that reflect current social issues or a topic of their choice. 


Wednesday, September 29th, 2021

(Half Day)
(Morning Sessions)

Title: LGBTQ+ Evaluation and Cultural Responsiveness: An Intensive Workshop
Dylan Felt, Northwestern University
Gregory Phillips II, Northwestern University
Erik Elías Glenn, Northwestern University
Josh Boegner, Northwestern University


Workshop description: In her 2017 CREA Conference keynote, Dr. Robin Miller called for the field to do better in accounting for LGBTQ+ populations. Thanks in great part to Dr. Miller’s work, recent years have seen growing recognition of the importance of culturally competent evaluation practices with LGBTQ+ populations. However, many evaluators still lack the tools and training to do this work well. In recognition of this, this session will serve as an intensive training for evaluators new to or moderately experienced in LGBTQ+ evaluation, and will provide attendees with the skills they need to conduct thoughtful, critical, intersectionally-minded work with LGBTQ+ populations. Through an interactive, intensive workshop, attendees will learn, discuss, and practice applying the essential principles of LGBTQ+ evaluation. Our agenda prioritizes a collaborative dynamic, as attendees will learn together and from each other, and will be encouraged to integrate perspectives from their own experiences and practices to ground all learning in the real world. Through blending theory, practice, and praxis in this intensive workshop, attendees will emerge with the tools they need to be culturally responsive LGBTQ+ Evaluation Champions in their own practices, and LGBTQ+ allies in their everyday lives.

TITLE: The Foundations of Indigenous Evaluation
Joan LaFrance, Mekinak Consulting

Workshop Description: This workshop describes the four foundational elements of an Indigenous approach to evaluation. These include recognizing the power of metaphor, grounding evaluation in Indigenous Ways of Knowing, defining core values that guide practice, and building inclusive community engagement. The foundations are based on research regarding Indigenous evaluation conducted by the American Higher Education Consortium in tribal communities and colleges. Each element draws from Indigenous practices and ways of knowing such as storytelling, community engagement, and relationship. The foundations serve as guideposts for evaluators who seek cultural/tribal relevant approaches to evaluation. During the workshop, each of the foundations will be described and discussed. The workshop is designed to engage participants in the foundational elements through small group exercises that encourage application of the elements to local tribal and community situations.

TITLE: Re-Claiming, Re-Positioning, Re-Privileging Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Evaluation and Research
Pālama Lee, Liliʻuokalani Trust
Katherine A. Tibbetts, Hawaiʻi-Pacific Evaluation Association
Paula Morelli, Consuelo Foundation Hawai`i
Dawn Mahi, Consuelo Foundation Hawai`i


Workshop Description:  I ka ‘ōlelo no ke ola, i ka ‘ōlelo no ka make. Life is in speech; death is in speech. Words can heal; words can destroy. (Pukui, 1983, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau, Bishop Museum, #1191.)

Equitable, transformative, culturally responsive, culturally sustaining, and Indigenous evaluation practices have many important purposes. Distilled to one value, they fundamentally promote justice and equity. This is the intention with which Kūkulu Kumuhana and the Aloha Evaluation Framework were developed. This interactive workshop is designed for evaluators seeking to engage with others to explore what it means to practice evaluation with this intentionality. Kūkulu Kumuhana focuses on understanding wellbeing through a traditional Hawaiian worldview. The Aloha Evaluation Framework is centered on the practice of evaluation through the value of Aloha. In this workshop, these two frameworks are considered together as we explore how they are reshaping evaluation practice in Hawaiʻi.

Through hands-on engagement with the frameworks and application of a case study, participants will: 

Reflect on their evaluation praxis, exploring colonial and racist assumptions when working with Indigenous groups and/or people of color, and

Identify elements of these frameworks that are transplantable to their own cultural contexts and identifying what may be different in those contexts.


TITLE: Fairness and Assessment: Engaging Psychometric and Racial Justice Perspectives
Drew Gitomer, Rutgers University
Emi Iwatani, Digital Promise

Workshop Description: While ideas of fairness and equity are, for the most part, embraced across our society, their underlying values, characterization, interpretation, and markers are highly contested.  In such contexts as criminal justice, education, tax and health policy, voting rights, and immigration, advocates adopt the rhetoric of fairness and equity, albeit with very different meanings.  These different conceptions of fairness and equity almost always intersect with issues of economics, politics, religion, education, power, gender, and race.

Regarding educational assessment, concerns about fairness and equity have likewise mirrored a universal embrace of the rhetoric of fairness and equity.  Yet, discussions of fairness and equity in assessment often prove unproductive as different constituencies talk past each other, using the same terms with little shared meaning.

Through this workshop, participants will: (1) Gain a deeper understanding of the differences between psychometric and racial justice perspectives of fariness ; (2) Conceptualize a learning and/or action agenda that engages both perspectives.  

In the first portion of this workshop, facilitators will review the different meanings, assumptions, lenses and operationalization of the ideas of “assessment fairness” and attempt to provide a framework for understanding the consistencies and differences in the ways that different measurement experts, researchers, and theorists have addressed these concepts. Specifically, we unpack the ideas of fairness among two broad communities concerned with educational assessment, that have historically worked in isolation from one another.  The testing and measurement community contributes to the design, development, and research of educational assessments.  The racial justice community members work to help elevate voices of racially marginalized groups and are critical of the contributing role of assessment to marginalization.  

In the second portion of this workshop, participants will begin to conceptualize a learning and/or action agenda for themselves, that engages both psychometric and racial justice perspectives on fairness.