Johnson, Hazel and Thomas, Alan
Professional capacity and organizational change as measures of educational effectiveness: assessing the impact of postgraduate education in development policy and management.
Compare: A journal of comparative education, 34(3),
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We tend to measure educational performance by students' attainment in coursework or examinations. In the case of professional education, the impact of the educational programme on the students' own capacities to enhance their work practices, and the wider organizational effects of the students' education and training, are also key 'products' of the educational process. This is particularly important with education for Development Policy and Management (DPAM), which is directly concerned with capacity-building. This article adopts a work-related approach to educational effectiveness and examines four professional programmes in DPAM--three in Southern Africa and one in the UK. Through the analysis of the results of surveys and case studies, the article demonstrates how a positive learning experience is related to the application of learning at work. However the conditions for applying learning also depend strongly on organizational context, as do the wider organizational impacts of learning. The article presents a broad approach to assessing educational effectiveness in professional programmes which incorporate these factors.
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