EDUC 871:Design and Evaluation of Teacher Education Programs

Spring 2008

Wednesday 4:00-6:30PM

Allan Feldman
230 Furcolo Hall
413 545-1570

There are three primary objectives for the course:

1) Students will learn how to design educational programs and associated evaluation plans, and write proposals, either unsolicited or in response to RFPs.

2) Students will be introduced to the theory of program development. Much of this will draw upon the significant work done in teacher education, but the course will also draw upon scholarly work in informal, international, and development education.

3) Students will be introduced to the theories and methods of program evaluation.

Students are required to complete all readings and participate fully in class discussions. They will keep a notebook in which they must regularly record their ideas, conjectures, reflections, and experiences as they participate in the class. Students should expect to provide written answers to questions about courses readings each week.

The major assignments for the course are described at the end of the syllabus.

All written assignments should be prepared electronically (e.g., in MS Word) and submitted to the class website on Spark (

Your grade in this course will be determined by your level of completion of all assignments and your participation in the class. Read the syllabus carefully and see the instructor if you have any questions about what is required of you. Satisfactory work at the graduate level for all course requirements will result in an A- in the course. Outstanding work will result in an A. Any written work deemed unsatisfactory by the instructor will be given back to the student with comments for improvement. The instructor will make adjustments in these requirements for students with learning disabilities.

All course work must be completed and handed in to the instructor by May 7, 2008. If for some reason this cannot happen, the student must make arrangements with the instructor to complete the work before a mutually agreed upon date. The student and instructor will draw up a contract specifying the work that needs to be completed and the completion date. They will both sign the contract and each will receive a copy.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students.  If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS), Learning Disabilities Support Services (LDSS), or Psychological Disabilities Services (PDS), you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in this course.  If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify me within the first two weeks of the semester so that we may make appropriate arrangements.

The integrity of the academic enterprise of any institution of higher education requires honesty in scholarship and research.  Academic honesty is therefore required of all students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Academic dishonesty (cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, facilitating dishonesty) is prohibited in all programs of the University.




Jan. 30

Introduction to the course: program design and evaluation

Critique an RFP

Feb. 6

Overview of Programs

Eisner (1992) (Spark)
Eisner (1994) Chapter 3 (eReserves)
Tyler Curriculum Model (Spark)
HW Due: Project topic; Reading assignment

Feb. 13

Designing programs: Elements of teacher education programs

Goodlad (eReserves)
NRC ch. 8
HW Due: report on professional standards; Reading assignment

Feb. 20

Policy, Research, and Practice of Programs and
Enacting Change

STEMACT White Papers
Churchill (Spark)
Feldman (1993) (eReserves)
Montecinos et al. (Spark)
HW Due: Reading assignment

Feb. 27

Multicultural teacher education

Martin (Spark)
Montecinos (eReserves)
HW Due: Program prospectus; Reading assignment

March 5

Program design workshop


March 12

Introduction to principles of evaluation

NSF chs. 1, 2, 7
UMass chs 1, 2
HW Due: Program design

March 19

Spring Break


March 26



April 2

Evaluation design: Introduction

NSF ch. 3
UMass ch. 3, 4
HW Due: Reading assignment; Group Evaluation Comparisons

April 9

Varieties of evaluations

Chen (Spark)
Worthen & Sanders (eReserves)
HW Due: Group Evaluation Comparisons

April 16

Evaluation design: Participatory and community-based

Quintanilla (Spark)
Fetterman (Spark)
NSF Culturally Responsive Evaluation (Spark)
Turnball (Spark)
HW Due: Mini-proposal with literature review; Group Evaluation Comparisons

April 23

"Scientifically-based research"

Darling-Hammond (Spark)
Cook (Spark)
Ed Researcher special issue on Design Experiments (Spark)
HW Due: Reading assignment

April 30

Reporting the evaluation & Evaluating evaluations

NSF ch. 4
UMass ch. 5
Weiss (eReserves)
Sample evaluation reports available on (Spark)
HW Due: Evaluation design

May 7

Group presentations and course evaluation

Final report



1) Program Topic

Write one paragraph that describes the focus and purpose of an educational program that you would like to design and evaluate. Due 2/6 via Spark.

2) Report on professional standards

Many professional and policy organizations have published standards for the preparation of teachers and other practitioners. Your assignment is to find those standards, summarize them in a table, and write a critical analysis of them. The analysis should be approximately 1-2 pages. Post the table and your analysis in the assignment section of Spark. Due 2/13 via Spark.

3) Program prospectus

A prospectus can be defined as "an official document giving details about something that is going to happen, for example, a stock offering, a forthcoming publication, a new business, or a proposed project." For this assignment you will need to produce a prospectus for your proposed program. The prospectus should include:

   1. An abstract of no more than 50 words.

   2. A rationale in which you argue why this program is needed (no more than 500 words).

   3. A brief description of the proposed program, including a set of objectives or goals. This should include enough information so that a reader can understand what it is that you intend to do. Include activities and a timeline. Feel free to use diagrams, charts, etc. This should be no more than 3 pages in length. Due 2/27 via Spark.

4) Program design

The program design is a more fully executed description of the project. There should be sufficient detail so that a reader would be able to assess whether your planned activities would enable you to meet the your objectives and those of the funding agency and/or the professional or policy organization. You may need 10 pages or so to provide enough detail. Be prepared to discuss your design with your peers on March 5. The design itself will be due on 3/12 via Spark.

5) Group evaluation comparisons

The class will be divided into three groups to compare and contrast the evaluation models in each of the three weeks' readings (4/2, 4/9 and 4/16).  Structure your comparison so that you look at the pros and cons of using each type for your project. Be prepared to present your comparison in class using PowerPoint. Submit the PowerPoint presentation via Spark.

6) Mini-proposal with literature review

This assignment combines the abstract, rationale and program design that you prepared earlier (with appropriate revisions) with a literature review that supports your objective and design. The literature review should be between 7 and 10 pages in length and reference theoretical, empirical, and policy documents. Due 4/16 via Spark.

7) Evaluation design

The evaluation design should describe ways that you will gather formative and summative information to improve the program during its lifetime, and evaluate its successes and failures at the end of the funding period. Your design should include multiple methods. Due 4/30 via Spark.

8) Final report

On the last day of class you will be responsible for handing in a complete "proposal" that includes an abstract, rationale, literature review, program design, and evaluation plan. The contents can be modified to fit the requirements of an RFP. Due 5/7 via Spark.

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