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Jennifer Stephenson, Mark Carter and Sue O’Neill

This chapter examines evidence-based practice in the Australian education system, with particular reference to special education. Initially a brief overview of the…

Abstract

This chapter examines evidence-based practice in the Australian education system, with particular reference to special education. Initially a brief overview of the Australian education system will be provided, followed by consideration of the incorporation of the concept of evidence-based practice into Australian educational policy at both national and state level. Subsequently, Australian teacher registration and teacher education program accreditation standards will be examined with regard to the adoption of evidence-based practice. We then describe the use of evidence-based practices in teacher education programs, particularly in the area of classroom and behavior management and in special education/inclusion subjects. We will overview several research studies to illustrate the degree of penetration of the concept of evidence-based practice into educational systems and teaching practice. Although we found little evidence of a commitment to evidence-based practice in Australian education systems beyond rhetoric, we are cautiously optimistic that increasing emphasis will be given to the use of empirical evidence in the future.

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Evidence-Based Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-429-9

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Molly K. Buren, Austin H. Johnson, Daniel M. Maggin, Bhawandeep K. Bains, Megan R. Ledoux Galligan and Lauren K. Couch

Evidence-based practice is an essential component of special education and provides a framework for promoting the use of research to inform policy and practice. Despite…

Abstract

Evidence-based practice is an essential component of special education and provides a framework for promoting the use of research to inform policy and practice. Despite the importance of evidence-based practice to special education, the research-to-practice gap remains a persistent challenge to the successful dissemination of effective, research-based practices. Given the underuse of research in special education, the next big thing in evidence-based special education is to develop effective mechanisms for disseminating research and practice. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to introduce research utilization as a concept to special education and present a preliminary analysis on special education teacher perceptions of research. Results suggest that special education teachers value evidence-based practice but remain unsure of their skills to distinguish between studies with more and less rigorous methods. Moreover, we found that special education teachers tended to use sources with lower self-reported ratings of trustworthiness, such as social media and teacher exchange websites, due to time efficiency and accessibility. Respondents provided recommendations for ameliorating the research-to-practice gap and increasing the usability of research overall.

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The Next Big Thing in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-749-7

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Bryan G. Cook, Melody Tankersley and Timothy J. Landrum

The gap between research and practice in special education places an artificial ceiling on the achievement of students with learning and behavioral disabilities…

Abstract

The gap between research and practice in special education places an artificial ceiling on the achievement of students with learning and behavioral disabilities. Evidence-based practices (EBPs) are instructional practices shown by bodies of sound research to be generally effective. They represent a possible means to address the research-to-practice gap by identifying, and subsequently implementing, the most effective instructional practices on the basis of reliable, scientific research. In this chapter, we provide a context for the subsequent chapters in this volume by (a) defining and describing EBPs, (b) recognizing some of important limitations to EBPs, (c) introducing a number of ongoing issues related to EBPs in the field of learning and behavioral disabilities that are addressed by chapter authors in this volume, and (d) briefly considering a few emerging issues related to EBPs that we believe will become increasingly prominent in the near future.

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Evidence-Based Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-429-9

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Article

Vishwanath V. Baba and Farimah HakemZadeh

The purpose of this paper is to integrate existing body of knowledge on evidence‐based management, develop a theory of evidence, and propose a model of evidence‐based

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to integrate existing body of knowledge on evidence‐based management, develop a theory of evidence, and propose a model of evidence‐based decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a literature review, the paper takes a conceptual approach toward developing a theory of evidence and a process model of decision making. Formal research propositions amplify both theory and model.

Findings

The paper suggests that decision making is at the heart of management practice. It underscores the importance of both research and experiential evidence for making professionally sound managerial decisions. It argues that the strength of evidence is a function of its rigor and relevance manifested by methodological fit, relevance to the context, transparency of its findings, replicability of the evidence, and the degree of consensus within the decision community. A multi‐stage mixed level model of evidence‐based decision making is proposed with suggestions for future research.

Practical implications

An explicit, formal, and systematic collaboration at the global level among the producers of evidence and its users akin to the Cochrane Collaboration will ensure sound evidence, contribute to decision quality, and enable professionalization of management practice.

Originality/value

The unique value contribution of this paper comes from a critical review of the evidence‐based management literature, the articulation of a formal theory of evidence, and the development of a model for decision making driven by the theory of evidence.

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Article

Nancy Cartwright, Andrew Goldfinch and Jeremy Howick

This article critically analyses the concept of evidence in evidence‐based policy, arguing that there is a key problem: there is no existing practicable theory of…

Abstract

This article critically analyses the concept of evidence in evidence‐based policy, arguing that there is a key problem: there is no existing practicable theory of evidence, one which is philosophically‐grounded and yet applicable for evidence‐based policy. The article critically considers both philosophical accounts of evidence and practical treatments of evidence in evidence‐based policy. It argues that both fail in different ways to provide a theory of evidence that is adequate for evidence‐based policy. The article contributes to the debate about how evidence can and should be used to reduce contingency in science and in policy based on science.

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Journal of Children's Services, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Larry Maheady, Cynthia Smith and Michael Jabot

Evidence-based practice (EBP) can have a powerful impact on school-aged children. Yet this impact may not be realized if classroom teachers do not use empirically…

Abstract

Evidence-based practice (EBP) can have a powerful impact on school-aged children. Yet this impact may not be realized if classroom teachers do not use empirically supported interventions and/or fail to include the best research available when they make important educational decisions about children. Whether classroom teachers use EBP may be influenced, in part, by what they learned or failed to learn in their preservice preparation programs. This chapter describes recent efforts to assess preservice teachers’ understanding and use of empirically supported interventions and provides four examples of how such practices were taught to preservice general educators in a small, regional teacher preparation program. We discuss four contemporary educational reform movements (i.e., federal policies mandating EBP, state-level policies linking growth in pupil learning to teacher evaluation, clinically rich teacher preparation, and the emergence of a practice-based evidence approach) that should increase interest and use of EBP in teacher education and offer recommendations for how teacher educators might infuse EBP into their traditional teaching, research, and service functions in higher education.

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Evidence-Based Practices
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-429-9

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Book part

Zhaocheng (Elly) Zeng and Benson Honig

Entrepreneurship education has been largely treated as a pedagogical “black box.” Despite the emergence of popular entrepreneurship models such as business planning, the…

Abstract

Entrepreneurship education has been largely treated as a pedagogical “black box.” Despite the emergence of popular entrepreneurship models such as business planning, the lean startup, or business model canvas, neither theoretical nor pedagogical foundations are typically evident. This limits the accumulation of useful evidence that could inform better teaching practices. In this chapter, we develop a set of conceptual models anchored in learning theory regarding how entrepreneurship education should be taught to students. These conceptual models are built on the techniques of entrepreneurship pedagogy such as experiential education. They are developed for three groups of students: students without any entrepreneurship experience, students with previous entrepreneurship experience, and students who are currently running their start-ups. A set of potential variables that could be used for course evaluation purposes is also included. The proposed models meet the needs of students with different levels of entrepreneurship experience. Theoretically, we demonstrate that entrepreneurship students should not be treated as a homogeneous group, as they have different levels of startup experience and different educational needs. Lecturers of entrepreneurship programs could choose the suitable model proposed in this chapter in teaching based on the characteristics of their students. The chapter provides novel insights with regard to how entrepreneurship programs should be designed for students with different levels of entrepreneurship experience.

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Models of Start-up Thinking and Action: Theoretical, Empirical and Pedagogical Approaches
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-485-3

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Book part

Wendi Ralaingita and Joy du Plessis

Over the past 20 years, the primary focus of education policy and programming in low- and middle-income country contexts has shifted from access to quality. There has also…

Abstract

Over the past 20 years, the primary focus of education policy and programming in low- and middle-income country contexts has shifted from access to quality. There has also been a laudable increase in the amount of available research about education quality in low- and middle-income countries, and a growing emphasis placed on incorporating research- and evidence-based activities and approaches into donor-funded education programs, particularly for early grade reading. Reviews of early grade reading (EGR) programs and their level of impact, however, particularly when programs are implemented at large scale, may leave some practitioners, policy makers, and donors dismayed. Effect sizes and impacts of the programs are often positive, but the absolute gains in reading performance are not as dramatic as we would like, despite the implementation of evidence-based approaches.

In education policy and implementation literature, the decoupling of policy and implementation, and the messiness involved in putting research into practice in education, are well documented. In this chapter, the authors propose the idea of “satisficing,” as it has been defined in policy and implementation literature, as a useful lens for considering the apparent decoupling of actual impacts and anticipated outcomes for programs that have adopted research- and evidence-based approaches. Using examples from EGR programs in African and Asian contexts, the authors argue that “satisficing” occurs at multiple levels, including the classroom, school, district, and even the program implementation (i.e., contractor or grantee) levels. The authors also argue that this lens has important implications for education program design and research.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2019
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-724-4

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Article

Angeliki Kallitsoglou

Despite their documented benefits, evidence-based practices (EBPs) for early childhood social learning are not systematically implemented. Teachers are key players in the…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite their documented benefits, evidence-based practices (EBPs) for early childhood social learning are not systematically implemented. Teachers are key players in the implementation process of intervention programs and instructional practices. This is a viewpoint about teachers’ attitudes towards EBPs and their role in the successful implementation of EBPs for early childhood social learning.

Design/methodology/approach

The viewpoint draws on theoretical models of intervention implementation and innovation adoption to explore the importance of individual factors for EBPs implementation and to inform the understanding of the relationship between teachers’ attitudes and EBPs implementation in the context of early childhood social learning. Additionally, it is informed by the literature on research-informed teaching to identify novel opportunities of cultivating positive views towards EBPs for early childhood social learning.

Findings

According to implementation science, in addition to macro-level social and organisation factors, micro-level individual factors that pertain to professionals’ attitudes towards EBPs are related to successful adoption and implementation of EBPs in organisations. Hence, it is important that the investigation of the adoption and implementation of EBPs for early childhood social learning considers the role of teachers’ attitudes towards EBPs. A conceptual model is proposed to explain that research-informed teaching could contribute to fostering positive attitudes towards EBPs for early childhood social learning by raising awareness of the value and potential of research to transform pedagogy.

Originality/value

This viewpoint draws on EBPs implementation science to identify important factors of EBPs adoption and implementation for early childhood social learning that have not been considered extensively and offers a conceptual framework to help understand how research-informed teaching could be an innovative avenue of promoting EBPs implementation in education.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article

Dorothy Williams and Louisa Coles

The purpose of this research is to explore UK teachers' use of research‐based information, with a particular focus on issues relating to access to information in schools…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to explore UK teachers' use of research‐based information, with a particular focus on issues relating to access to information in schools, information literacy, and the role of the school librarian and school library services.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed methodology. In‐depth qualitative data gathered through vignette interviews (n=28), group exercises (four groups of between three and five teachers) and a discussion forum were supplemented by quantitative data gathered through surveys of teachers (n=312), head teachers (n=78), school librarians (n=78) and school library services (n=26).

Findings

Teachers' professional use of research information reflects a preference for predigested information and informal sources. Although professional bodies and government departments promote the use of research by teachers and provide a range of customised web sites for information, lack of ready local access to information and lack of time were cited as major barriers to the use of research information. Teachers also revealed uncertainties and lack of confidence in their own ability to find and evaluate such information. The findings suggest scope for more targeted provision by school librarians of both information and skills to support the professional development of teachers. However, this raises issues of priorities and resources, and needs to be seen in the context of a wider change in ethos supported by senior management. The study also raises questions about teachers' own experiences and approaches to the use of information in professional learning, and how this might impact on the provision of support for their pupils and the potential for collaborative working between librarians and teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative aspects of the study provided a rich source of data from teachers with varying levels of experience and involvement with the use of research information. However, a low response to the teacher questionnaire survey (10.9 per cent, overall, 312 teachers) resulted in a bias towards more research‐oriented teachers in that particular data set. While the data from research‐oriented teachers do appear to triangulate, it is difficult to generalise to other teachers. Therefore teacher survey data have been treated with some caution and drawn on only to aid further understanding of the issues raised in interviews and group exercises.

Originality/value

In focusing attention on teachers' information behaviour and information literacy, this paper provides a new perspective on the issues affecting the lack of uptake of research evidence within the teaching profession, contributes to the literature on information behaviour and information literacy in professional contexts, and contributes to the understanding of factors which may have a bearing on the development of student information literacy in schools.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 63 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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