Citizenship Education Policies and Programs

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From: HREA – Human Rights Education Associates and its Newsletter
Date: Febr. 15, 2008

Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, Consultant on Evaluation of Citizenship Education Policies and Programs, March 15 – December 31, 2008

Terms of Reference – Background:

The Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices was officially adopted by the Ministers of Education of OAS Member States at the IV Meeting of the Ministers of Education in Trinidad and Tobago, August 11 – 12, 2005. The Program has three components: (1) Research (2) Professional development and educational resources, and (3) Cooperation and information exchange.
For more information on the Inter-American Program see Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, (en espanol).


In a survey carried out by the Department of Education and Culture of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2006 – 2007, 79% (19) of the Ministries of Education in the Americas that answered the survey reported having policies in democratic citizenship and related areas in place or in construction, but only 16% of these reported having evaluated the impact of these policies, and none of these reported results that they judged as significant regarding policy impact.
For more information on this report, contact.

This limited evaluation seems to be a matter of growing concern in the region. Representatives of the Ministries of Education who work on citizenship education policies identified evaluation as a priority area of need at the OAS Inter-American Seminar on Good Practices in Education for Citizenship in Mexico City, July 5 – 7, 2006. See Inter American Seminar on Good Practices in Education for Democratic Citizenship, Mexico City, July 5 – 7, 2006, (en espanol).

Nature of the Task: The consultant will support the design and execution of a three-month OAS Hemispheric Course for the Evaluation of Policies and National Programs in Citizenship Education, and related areas, which is a combination of online and onsite modes. The objective of this course is to contribute to building capacity of officials in charge of evaluating policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship and related areas, in each of the 34 OAS member countries. The course will provide a “workshop space”, in English and Spanish, for professional development, in which participants will discuss literature, analyze strategies and best practices in the evaluation of policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship, as well as reflect critically on the evaluation of policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship in their own countries, and alternatives to improve them. (For more information on this course, see the Initial Draft Proposal for the OAS Hemispheric Course for the Evaluation of Policies and National Programs in Citizenship Education.) The consultant will also monitor and evaluate the development of the course and report on its results.

Specific subtasks will include:

1. Develop a literature review on diverse existing or potential approaches to evaluating citizenship education policies and programs, which will serve as the conceptual basis for the course (online and on-site) proposal and content.

2. Work with the Department of Education and Culture of the OAS to design and execute a three-month course (online and on-site) for key personnel responsible for the evaluation of citizenship education policy and programs in each of the 34 member countries. The course is planned to be held September-November, 2008.

3. Provide academic support to organize the on-site seminar in early November, 2008, location to be defined.

4. Work with the Department of Education and Culture of the OAS to facilitate the course (online and on-site).

5. Work with the Department of Education and Culture of the OAS to monitor, evaluate and report on the course (online and on-site).

6. Work with the Department of Education and Culture of the OAS to develop a future strategy to support the development of citizenship education policy and program evaluation in the Americas.

7. Possible additional subtasks related to the course, which will be defined together with the consultant.

Deliverables:

1. Literature review of diverse approaches to citizenship education policy and program evaluation: Approximately 15-20 pages with a 1-2 page executive summary (May, 2008).

2 . Written proposal for design and contents of the course for key personnel responsible for the citizenship education policy and program evaluation (approximately 10 pages), based on the initial draft proposal for the course (attached) (June, 2008).

3. Database of literature and resources to be used for the course (June, 2008).

4. Written proposal on the evaluation of the course (approximately 2-5 pages, may be longer with attachments) (July, 2008).

5. Report of the course (online and on-site seminar), including a description of course implementation, results and an analysis of lessons learned (approximately 25 – 50 pages, may be longer with attachments) (December, 2008).

6. Brief follow-up proposal on a strategy to continue to support the development of evaluation of citizenship policies and programs in the Americas. This proposal may include a plan to replicate the course on a wider scale (approximately 5 pages) (December, 2008).

7. Possible additional deliverables related to the course, agreed on with the consultant.

Desired Qualifications:

Education

a. Degree in related area, preferably in education policy, sociology, psychology, or political science.
b. Advanced university coursework in social science research methods and evaluation. A PhD is preferred, but not mandatory.

Experience

a. Minimum of four years of relevant experience in evaluation of programs and/or policies in citizenship education and/or related areas.
b. Experience in research, evaluation, and/or implementation of education policies in Latin America and the Caribbean, including work in or in close collaboration with Ministries of Education.
c. Publication of articles on program/policy evaluation.
d. Academic teaching experience at university level. Familiarization with the development of contents and facilitation of online courses is preferred.

Language

a. Excellent written and oral communication skills in Spanish and English. Some knowledge of Portuguese and French preferred.

Competencies

a. Exceptional oral and written communication skills; skill in writing for a broad audience including policy makers and in conducting complex discussions in both English and Spanish.
b. Outstanding competency in social science research and evaluation methodologies.
c. Skill in working independently and with significant individual initiative.
d. Ability to deliver high-quality products on-time, often working under pressure.
e. Ability to perform effectively as part of a cross-cultural, multidisciplinary team.

Approximate Period of Performance: March 15 – December 31, 2008

This is a product-based consultancy. Working from outside Washington could be discussed.
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Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, OAS Hemispheric Course on Evaluation of Policies and National Programs in Citizenship Education, 2008

Initial Draft Proposal

A. INFORMATION ON THE COURSE OR PROGRAM OF STUDY

This activity will form part of the Professional Development Component of the Inter-American Program for Education for Democratic Values and Practices of the OAS.

The Strategic Plan for Partnership for Integral Development 2006-2009 asks that the OAS support “the efforts of the Member States to foster the development of a democratic culture through education and the implementation of the Inter-American Program in Education for Democracy”.

The Inter-American Program in Education for Democracy is an official alliance adopted by the Ministers of Education of member states of the OAS through CIDI/RME/RES 12 (IV-O/05) at the IV Meeting of Ministers of Education which took place in Scarborough, Trinidad and Tobago on August 11 and 12, 2005.

The Program consists of three components: Research, professional development, and exchange of information. The structure of the program includes an interdisciplinary Advisory Board (made up of 40 members from various countries) whose role is to provide recommendations on the Program’s activities. More information available at Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices, (en espanol).

2. Name of the Course: Hemispheric Course: Evaluation of policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship

3. Duration of Course: Three months

4. Starting Date: September /2008

5. End Date: November /2008

6. Language: Spanish, English

7. Course Objectives

Principal Objective: Contribute to building capacity of officials in charge of evaluating policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship and related areas.

Specific objectives:

a. Analyze theoretical and conceptual frameworks of different models and strategies of policy and program evaluation in education for democratic citizenship and related areas

b. Discuss tools and strategies for the evaluation of policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship and related areas

c. Share and discuss best practices in evaluation of policies and national programs in education for democratic citizenship and related areas

8. Description of Course Content

Module 1: Theoretical and conceptual frameworks of a range of models and strategies for evaluating policies and programs: This module consists of the presentation of key readings on the evaluation of educational policies and programs and in particular on evaluation in education for democratic citizenship. The objective of this module is to understand the basic concepts that are necessary to develop rigorous evaluations of policies and programs in education for democratic citizenship and related areas. This module will examine different models of evaluation, levels of evaluation, objectives of evaluations and their limitations.

Module 2: Instruments and strategies for the evaluation of policies and programs. This module will focus on the practical tools used to carry out evaluations. It includes an analysis of the process of evaluation (design, data collection, analysis, reporting and dissemination) and various methodological requirements for the evaluation of citizenship education policies and programs.

Module 3: Sharing of best practices in the evaluation of policies and national programs on the subject. This module consists of in-depth study of the best practices in the evaluation of citizenship education policies and programs. This analysis will focus on the comparative discussion of different models and instruments of evaluation of education policies and programs.

9. Description of Teaching Methodology

The course will have a distance-learning component. The methodology is participatory and centered on the particular needs of each participant. Participants will have access on the virtual forum to key readings on the subject and opportunities to reflect and analyze, and discuss the actual state of the evaluation of national policies and programs in citizenship education in the hemisphere.

After two months of on-line preparation, the participants will meet in person for three days to present a critical analysis of the actual situation of evaluation of this subject in their country. During the meeting, the critical analysis will be discussed in order to offer ideas on how to improve weak points and overcome obstacles.

In the month that follows the meeting, the participants will develop concrete proposals to improve the existing evaluation in their countries on this subject and they will be able to receive feedback from other participants and specialists in the virtual forum.

10. Anticipated benefits and professional impact of the course for the participants and their respective countries.

Recent data suggests that public policies in education for democratic citizenship and related areas are not frequently evaluated, and if they are evaluated, the evaluations are not adequately designed to measure impact on teachers and students. In a hemispheric poll conducted by the Department of Culture and Education of the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2006-2007, 79% (19) of the Ministers of Education of the Americas and Caribbean that answered the survey reported policies in democratic citizenship and related subjects as implemented or in development, but only 16% of these countries reported the impact of these policies, and none of these reported significant results in terms of public policy impact.

At the Inter-American Seminar of the OAS on Good Practices in Education for Citizenship conducted in Mexico City, July 5-7, 2006, representatives of the Ministers of Education responsible for education for democratic citizenship evaluation as a priority area of need. The course would respond to the current gap in capacity building in this area. In addition, a key outcome from the course includes analysis of the evaluation of policies and programs by country and a plan of action aimed at strengthening regional and national cooperation focused on the particular needs of each country.

The Inter-American program will incorporate specific activities to offer long-term support to member countries in this task. For example, this first pilot will provide an opportunity to develop a conceptual framework, compile curricular contents, and identify possible “on-line” and “on-site” tutors for a future on-line course that could be offered through the Portal of the Americas and the Inter-American Program.

11. Mode of the Course

A combination of on-site and distance learning modes.

B. Profile of Course Participants

1. Previous Studies

The Participants should have university training. A masters or doctorate in a subject related to the evaluation of policies and programs and/or citizenship education and similar areas is preferred.

2. Work Position and years of experience in related work in this field of study

The ideal participant is a member of the technical team of the national system of evaluation and/or national directors of citizenship education and related areas to one of the 34 member countries of the OAS, in charge of directing the national evaluation of policies and programs in citizenship education and related subjects. At least two years of experience in this position is preferred, and at least five years of experience in related work in this field of study. They should also be willing to remain in their current position for a period of at least two years.

3. Required Knowledge of Language for the Course

The participants should have an adequate knowledge of at least English and/or Spanish. Knowledge of both languages is preferred.

4. Knowledge of Technology and other Specific Equipment

The participants should know how to use a computer, download documents from the internet, and be able to interact in virtual forums. The participants should also have frequent access to a computer with internet access.

5. Necessary Informational Documents (copy of diplomas, grade certification, etc)

These documents are not necessary. The Curriculum Vitae will help determine participant selection.

6. Other requirements/special information/required characteristics of participants

Participants should have an interest in critically analyzing the national evaluation of policies and programs for citizenship education in their respective countries.

* Number of Scholarships Offered: 34 (one per OAS member country).

C. Course Location: Online. Place for the on-site seminar to be confirmed.

D. Donors: Inter-American Committee on Education, OAS/ Human Development Department, OAS/ Government of Colombia

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