As program managers and educators design place-based education intiatives, it is helpful to build evaluation into the plan. Every evaluation is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each program. The process and the results can be used to:
- Help program staff identify which program elements are most effective so that they can then effectively decide which aspects of their programs to augment or eliminate
- Determine how a program impacts participants
- Write grant reports or apply for additional funding
- Solicit funds from prospective donors
- Create new partnerships
Starter tools and resources for conducting program evaluations
- Logic Models are useful tools for identifying program activities and intended outcomes. This logic model template is a useful starting point. Check out this sample logic model to see how one place-based program used the logic model process to clearly outline its program activities and goals.
- Sample Evaluation Tools Program Evaluation and Educational Research, Inc. (PEER) has developed dozens of evaluation tools for clients. They have worked extensively with organizations that comprise the Place-based Education and Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Learn more about evaluation, and check out sample surveys and associated evaluation instruments, by looking at toolkits designed for PEEC organizations such as A Forest for Every Classroom and the Community Mapping Program .
- Sample Interview Guides and Surveys Check out the sample interview questionsand surveys PEER used in its evaluation of the Sustainable Schools Project.
- My Environmental Education Evaluation Research Assistant (MEERA) is an 'online consultant' that walks you thorugh the evaluation provess, provides samples of instruments, and evaluation reports.
VT FEED: Grains: Grow, Process, Utilize
How do grains of wheat, rye, corn, oats and rice nourish us? How do you grind flour and use it to bake bread? How did the Abenaki people who were indigenous to Hardwick, Vermont use the grains they grew? How do grains fit into a healthy diet? To answer these questions, first grade students visited a nearby farm to see how grain was grown, ground their own corn and make "hoe" cakes, and learned about life cycles of local farms and woodlands. Students presented food and recipes to their families as a culminating activity. For a full description of this curriculum and to learn more about Vermont FEED go to www.vermontfeed.org.
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