Often we think of evaluation research happening at the end of a program or intervention’s lifespan in order to determine whether the program worked – program impact. However, an equally important function served by evaluation research is monitoring program implementation. Evaluations of implementation are essential because they help identify problems with program implementation before the program ends, so that changes in programs or interventions can still have an impact. It doesn’t do us a lot of good to talk about results of an intervention if we find out the intervention was not really in place to begin with! You may find cases where the intervention changes a good bit as schools and teachers make it fit their particular circumstances or the needs of their students. Documenting and understanding these changes are important when you start to talk about how the intervention is affecting the problem or situation it was brought in to address. Without this information it may be difficult to replicate elsewhere.
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The development of In My Classroom: A Guide to Reflective Practice is the result of an urgent need in many countries for relevant and practical materials that help teachers and teacher educators understand and implement learner centered teaching in the primary grades.