WEC’s Nicole Bowman guest-edits special issue of New Directions for Evaluation

Bowman, an expert in culturally responsive evaluation, also co-authors four articles in the issue

April 1, 2024   |   By Karen Rivedal, WCER Communications

The 112-page special issue of the journal includes 13 articles, a forward, and an epilogue.

The 112-page special issue of the journal includes 13 articles, a forward, and an epilogue.

Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative (WEC) Evaluator/Associate Scientist Nicole R. Bowman is one of four guest editors of a special issue of the quarterly journal, New Directions for Evaluation. Bowman, an expert in culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) and a citizen of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation in Wisconsin, also co-authors four articles for the 112-page volume examining the history, legacy, and future of CRE.

Bowman's contributions start with "Editor's Notes," in which she and co-editors Ayesha S. Boyce and Leah C. Neubauer describe the volume, in part, as "a clarion call for those dedicated to social justice to remain vigilant and explicit about their values in an ever-changing world."

Their next article, "Setting the stage: A selected oral history of culturally responsive evaluation," includes fourth co-editor Melvin Hall and features insights into CRE from conversations the co-editors had with "CRE elders and seasoned evaluators," yielding nine broad themes related to CRE and to late scholar Stafford Hood's deep impact on the field.

In Bowman's third article, "Rooted in perpetuity: Weaving grandfather teachings as an ongoing journey for CRE, IE, and evaluators," she and co-author Carolee Dodge Francis explore broadening the standard norms and concepts of CRE by intertwining it with Indigenous Evaluation (IE). This approach also uses a framework of the "Seven Grandfather Teachings," described as love, honesty, bravery, respect, humility, wisdom, and truth.

The fourth article, "What have I done for the cause today? Evaluators, evaluation, and CREA," features Bowman, Neubauer, and Boyce reflecting on the special issue overall—which includes nine other articles and numerous additional authors—as the three "revisit our intentions, reflect on our process, offer areas for growth, and invite consideration for the evaluation profession." The co-editors in this piece also encourage readers to "consider how the impact and influence of Hood and the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) served as catalysts for change for evaluators and evaluation."

New Directions for Evaluation (NDE) is an official publication of the American Evaluation Association. The quarterly journal publishes works on all aspects of evaluation, with an emphasis on presenting timely and thoughtful reflections on leading-edge issues and contexts. Each issue of the journal is devoted to a single topic, with contributions solicited, organized, reviewed, and edited by one or more guest editors.

Affiliations of Bowman's co-editors: Boyce is an associate professor within the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. Neubauer is an associate professor, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University. Hall is professor Emeritus of Northern Arizona University. Francis (Oneida) is a social behavioral researcher, and chair/professor in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies in the UW–Madison School of Human Ecology.