Putting collective reflective dialogue at the heart of the evaluation process

Cooper, Susan (2014) Putting collective reflective dialogue at the heart of the evaluation process. Reflective Practice, 15 (5). pp. 563-578. ISSN 1462-3943

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2014.900019

Abstract

The study informing this paper set out to reframe evaluation as a collaborative, participatory, dialogical process with a focus on learning rather than accountability. Evaluation, much like reflective practice, has been shaped in terms of individual activity and deficit-based discourses. Using an ‘insider’ approach, an innovative methodology was developed and implemented in a voluntary youth organisation in the UK. Data gathered via semi-structured interviews before and after the implementation were analysed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. The findings suggest that collective spaces for reflection and dialogue are disappearing and yet practitioners highly valued this for its re-energising and restorative properties. Evidence is presented to suggest that narratives, in this case co-constructed stories, enabled collective critical reflection and the development of a shared understanding of practice which in turn supported and strengthened professional autonomy. This paper offers a significant contribution to knowledge in regard to the design and use of participatory evaluation. It is argued that the appreciative, collaborative and reflective aspects of the methodology enabled the learning and development functions to be realised. Evaluation based on collective, reflective dialogue has the potential to provide an evidence base of good practice, enhance staff well-being and improve practice outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: reflection, reflective practice, reflective learning, collective reflective dialogue, participatory evaluation, appreciative, narratives
Members: University of St Mark & St John
Depositing User: Ms Alice Primmer
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 14:46
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2017 14:46
URI: http://collections.crest.ac.uk/id/eprint/15431

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