Evaluation and Policy Analysis: A Communicative Framework


  • Cynthia Wallat Florida State University
  • Carolyn Piazza Florida State University




Communication Skills, Early Childhood Education, Educational Policy, Evaluation Methods, Models, Policy Analysis, Research Methodology, Researchers


A major challenge for the next generation of students of human development is to help shape the paradigms by which we analyze and evaluate public policies for children and families. Advocates of building research and policy connections point to health care and stress experiences across home, school, and community as critical policy issues that expand the scope of contexts and outcomes studied. At a minimum, development researchers and practitioners will need to be well versed in available methods of inquiry; they will need to be "methodologically multilingual" when conducting evaluation and policy analysis, producing reports, and reporting their interpretations to consumer and policy audiences. This article suggests how traditional approaches to policy inquiry can be reconsidered in light of these research inquiry and communicative skills needed by all policy researchers. A fifteen year review of both policy and discourse processes research is presented to suggest ways to conduct policy studies within a communicative framework.


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Author Biographies

Cynthia Wallat, Florida State University

Cynthia Wallat is Professor of Social Sciences and Education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at Florida State University. Her research emphasis and publications address: socialization and language; comparative social policy; and institutional and professional development. Her interest in relating language and policy centers on demonstrating how attention to forms of communication and community can address the known and unknown about diversity in and out of school.

Carolyn Piazza, Florida State University

Carolyn Piazza is Associate Professor of Reading / Language Studies in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. Her teaching and research emphasis includes: written discourse forms and functions; writing as a social process; writing development; and assessment. Her interest in relating language research to policy work includes analysis of the production of written education policy reports and language and equity issues, including women's styles of writing.




How to Cite

Wallat, C., & Piazza, C. (1997). Evaluation and Policy Analysis: A Communicative Framework. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 5, 15. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v5n15.1997




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