The Value of Voice: Gaining Access to Marginalized Populations


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February 22, 2012

Dr. Karen Vocke—Associate Professor, Department of English, WMU, and

Dr. Brooks Applegate—Professor, Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology and Director, Evaluation, Measurement, and Research, WMU

This presentation focuses on issues related to evaluating marginalized populations. For example, known challenges include access and the complicated issues of ethical representation necessary for authentic evaluation. However, critical examination shows when the evaluation process includes members of marginalized populations, results are more tangible, valid, and generalizable, with increased participation of the sample under study. Because the needs of marginalized populations are nuanced and diverse, evaluators must carefully consider the procedures and analyses involving the evaluation participants, especially the need for authentic, and not token, participation. This demonstration offers a protocol for access, collaboration, and evaluation for working with marginalized subpopulations in the K-12 setting, namely children and families of migrant farm workers and students with disabilities. Strategies will be presented for planning evaluations, accessing populations, developing survey instruments, developing a collaborative team, data collection strategies, and data analysis.

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