Education Drivers

Best Available Evidence Overview

Best available evidence is one of the cornerstones of evidence-based decision making. The implication is that evidence falls along a continuum from very strong evidence at one end to very weak evidence at the other end. In a perfect world, decisions would always be based on very strong evidence, but, in reality, many situations occur in which the evidence is less than very rigorous. There are three considerations in making judgments about the best available evidence: (1) the scientific rigor of the studies being evaluated, (2) the amount of evidence relevant to the specific problem, and (3) the relevance of the evidence to the specific situation under consideration. A study is deemed to be more rigorous if the experimenters have controlled for factors that might provide an alternative explanation for the results. Generally speaking, the greater the amount of evidence supporting an outcome, the more confidence decision makers have in their decisions. The relevance of a study to a particular practice question can vary depending on such factors as participants, interventions, settings, implementers, and outcomes.

Publications

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Evidence-Based Practice in the Broader Context: How Can We Really Use Evidence to Inform Decisions?

This paper provides an overview of the considerations when introducing evidence-based services into established mental health systems.

Chorpita, B. F., & Starace, N. K. (2010). Evidence-Based Practice in the Broader Context: How Can We Really Use Evidence to Inform Decisions? Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools, 11(1), 4-29.

Evidence-Based, Empirically Supported, OR Best Practice?

Evidence-based, empirically-supported, and best practice are often used interchangeably. A case is made that for clarity each term should have a separate and distinct meaning.

Detrich, R. (2008). Evidence-Based, Empirically Supported, OR Best Practice?. Effective practices for children with autism, 1.

A roadmap to evidence-based education: Building an evidence-based culture

Increasing education’s reliance on evidence to guide decisions requires a significant change in the culture of districts and schools. This paper reviews the implications of moving toward evidence-based education.

Detrich, R., Keyworth, R., & States, J. (2007). A Roadmap to Evidence-based Education: Building an Evidence-based Culture. Journal of Evidence-based Practices for Schools, 8(1), 26-44.

Evidence-Based Education and Best Available Evidence: Decision-Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty

Evidence-based practice is a framework for decision making.  Even with high quality evidence there are likely sources of uncertainty that practitioners must confront.

Detrich, R., Slocum, T. A., & Spencer, T. D. (2013). Evidence-based education and best available evidence: decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. Evidence-Based Practices, 26, 21.

 

Presentations

TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Identifying Research-based Practices for RtI: Scientifically Based Reading

This paper examines the types of research to consider when evaluating programs, how to know what “evidence’ to use, and continuums of evidence (quantity of the evidence, quality of the evidence, and program development).

Twyman, J. (2007). Identifying Research-based Practices for RtI: Scientifically Based Reading [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-wing-presentation-janet-twyman.

Evolution of the Revolution: How Can Evidence-based Practice Work in the Real World?
This paper provides an overview of the considerations when introducing evidence-based services into established mental health systems.
Chorpita, B. (2008). Evolution of the Revolution: How Can Evidence-based Practice Work in the Real World? [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2008-wing-presentation-bruce-chorpita.
If We Want More Evidence-based Practice, We Need More Practice-based Evidence
This paper discusses the importance, strengths, and weaknesses of using practice-based evidence in conjunction with evidence-based practice.
Cook, B. (2015). If We Want More Evidence-based Practice, We Need More Practice-based Evidence [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2015-wing-presentation-bryan-cook.
From Evidence-based Practice to Practice-based Evidence: Behavior Analysis in Special Education
Evidence-based practice is a decision making framework. This talk reviews the types of evidence that can be used in decision-making and when each source of evidence is best used.
Detrich, R. (2006). From Evidence-based Practice to Practice-based Evidence: Behavior Analysis in Special Education [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2006-calstatefresnoaba-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Evidence, Ethics, and the Law
This paper reviews the legal and ethical basis for relying on scientifically supported interventions to improve outcomes for students.
Detrich, R. (2007). Evidence, Ethics, and the Law [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-apbs-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Evidence-based Education: It Isn't as Simple as You Might Think
On the face of it, the mandate to utilize scientifically supported interventions to improve outcomes seems obvious and straighforward. The paper reviews the challenges involved in doing so.
Detrich, R. (2007). Evidence-based Education: It Isn't as Simple as You Might Think [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-calaba-ebe-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
An Expanded Model of Evidence-based Practice in Special Education
This paper reviews the types of evidence that can used to guide decision-making in special education as well as the necessity for high quality implementation, and monitoring the effects of intervention.
Detrich, R. (2006). An Expanded Model of Evidence-based Practice in Special Education [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2006-campbell-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Single Subject Research and Evidence-based Interventions: Are SSDs Really the Ugly Stepchild?
In most discussions about high quality research, single participant designs have been relegated to a lower status. This paper reviews the characteristics of SSDs and the contributions they can make to the evidence-base.
Detrich, R. (2007). Single Subject Research and Evidence-based Interventions: Are SSDs Really the Ugly Stepchild? [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-aba-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Evidence-based Education: Can We Get There From Here?
This paper reviews the steps that will be necessary to make evidence-based education a reality.
Detrich, R. (2008). Evidence-based Education: Can We Get There From Here? [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-calaba-ebe-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
IDEIA and Evidence-based Interventions: Implications for Practitioners
The reauthorization of special education law (IDEIA) emphasizes using scientifically supported programs. This talk reviews the implications for special education practitioners.
Detrich, R. (2008). IDEIA and Evidence-based Interventions: Implications for Practitioners [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2008-apbs-txint-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
The Ethical and Legal Basis for Evidence-based Education: Implications for the Profession
No Child Left Behind emphasized the importantance of utilizing practices that are scientifically supported. This paper reviews the implications of evidence-based education for the profession.
Detrich, R. (2008). The Ethical and Legal Basis for Evidence-based Education: Implications for the Profession [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2008-teacher-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
The Four Assumptions of the Apocalypse
This paper examines the four basic assumptions for effective data-based decision making in education and offers strategies for addressing problem areas.
Detrich, R. (2009). The Four Assumptions of the Apocalypse [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2009-wing-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Evidence-based Practice for Applied Behavior Analysts: Necessary or Redundant
Evidence-based practice has been described as a decision making framework. This presentation describes the features and challenges of this perspecive.
Detrich, R. (2015). Evidence-based Practice for Applied Behavior Analysts: Necessary or Redundant [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2013-aba-presentation-ronnie-detrich-tim-slocum-teri-lewis-trina.
Workshop: Evidence-based Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Evidence-based practice is a decision-making framework that integrates best available evidence, professional judgement, and client values and context. This workshop described the relationship across these three dimensions of decision-making.
Detrich, R. (2015). Workshop: Evidence-based Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis. [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2015-missouriaba-workshop-presentation-ronnie-detrich.
Data-Based Decision Making for Students Social Behavioral Difficulties
This paper discusses methods for making valid data-based decisions for student social behavior.
Gresham, F. (2009). Data-Based Decision Making for Students Social Behavioral Difficulties [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2009-wing-presentation-frank-gresham.
Professional Judgment: Fallibility, Inevitability,and Manageability
This paper examines the many obstacles to effective professional judgment, the role it plays, and strategies for improving this critical function.
Keyworth, R. (2007). Professional Judgment: Fallibility, Inevitability,and Manageability [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from 2007-aba-presentation-rk.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
CITATION
Why Education Experts Resist Effective Practices (And What It Would Take To Make Education More Like Medicine

The first section of this essay provides examples from reading and mathematics curricula that show experts dispensing unproven methods and flitting from one fad to another. The middle section describes how experts, for ideological reasons, have shunned some solutions that do display robust evidence of efficacy. The following sections show how public impatience has forced other professions to "grow up" and accept accountability and scientific evidence. The paper concludes with a plea to develop education into a mature profession.

Carnine, D. (2000). Why Education Experts Resist Effective Practices (And What It Would Take To Make Education More Like Medicine).

 

How Methodological Features Affect Effect Sizes in Education

The purpose of this article is to examine how methodological features such as types of publication, sample sizes, and research designs affect effect sizes in experiments.

Cheung, A., & Slavin, R. E. (2015). How methodological features affect effect sizes in education. Best Evidence Encyclopedia, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

 

Pitfalls of Data Analysis (or How to Avoid Lies and Damned Lies)

This paper examines things that people often overlook in their data analysis, and ways people sometimes "bend the rules" of statistics to support their viewpoint. It discusses ways you can make sure your own statistics are clear and accurate.

Helberg, C., (1995). Pitfalls of Data Analysis (or How to Avoid Lies and Damned Lies). Third International Applied Statistics in Industry Conference in Dallas, TX, June 5-7, 1995.

Some recommendations for the reporting of quantitative studies

This editorial offers recommendations aimed at providing examples of a series of elements that may significantly contribute towards demonstrating the robustness of quantitative results. It is therefore not a methodological guide but instead a guide that acts as a reminder of some basic principles when reporting quantitative research.

López, X., Valenzuela, J., Nussbaum, M., & Tsai, C. C. (2015). Some recommendations for the reporting of quantitative studies. Computers & Education, 91(C), 106-110.

Randomized Trials and Quasi-Experiments in Education Research
This paper examines the benefits and challenges inherent in using randomized clinical trials and quasi-experimental designs in the field of education research.
Angrist, J. D. (2003). Randomized trials and quasi-experiments in education research. NBER Reporter Online, (Summer 2003), 11-14.
The Right To Effective Education
The purpose of this Web Site is to disseminate information about behavioral fluency; and to connect people interested in building fluent behavior of all kinds and for all types of people.
Barrett, B. H., Beck, R., Binder, C., Cook, D. A., Engelmann, S., Greer, R. D., ... & Watkins, C. L. (1991). The right to effective education. The Behavior Analyst, 14(1), 79.
Assessing The Value-Added Effects Of Literacy Collaborative Professional Development On Student Learning
This is a 4-year longitudinal study of the effects of Literacy Collaborative (LC), a school-wide reform model that relies on coaching of teachers for improving student literacy learning.
Biancarosa, G., Bryk, A. S., & Dexter, E. R. (2010). Assessing the value-added effects of literacy collaborative professional development on student learning. The elementary school journal, 111(1), 7-34.
Distinguishing Science and Pseudoscience
This paper works as a primer to help discern real science from the significant numbers of reports of false science and pseudoscience that we are daily bombarded with from the media as well as published works that purport to be scientific.
Coker, R. (2001). Distinguishing science and pseudoscience. Retrieved September, 10, 2009.
Fallacy Files
This is a collection and examination of logical fallacies.
Curtis, G. N. (2012). Fallacy files. URL http://www. fallacyfiles. org.
Stephen's guide to the logical fallacies
This paper examines common logical fallacies
Downes, S. (1995). Stephen’s guide to the logical fallacies. Electronic document.
Can Randomized Trials Answer the Question of What Works?
This article discusses the use of randomized controlled trials as required by the Department of Education in evaluating the effectiveness of educational practices.
EDUC, A. R. O. (2005). Can randomized trials answer the question of what works?.
Scientific Research and Evidence-Based Practice, 2003
This paper examines the issue of evidence-based practices for use in education. Evidence-based education (EBE) is examined in the context of evidence-based practice in the field of medicine on which EBE is based. The medical model is compared with EBE with an emphasis on how to develop EBE products and services.
Hood, P. D. (2003). Scientific research and evidence-based practice. San Francisco: WestEd.
Why Most Published Research Findings Are False
This essay discusses issues and concerns that too many research findings may be false. The paper examines reasons a study may prove inaccurate including: the study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and the ratio of true to no relationships. Finally, it considers the implications these problems create for conducting and interpreting research.
Ioannidis, J. P. (2005). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS medicine, 2(8), e124.
The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) in IES
This powerpoint presentation provides an overview of the National Center for Education Research (NCSER)
Kame’enui, E. and Gonzalez, P. (2006)
Single-Case Designs for Educational Research
This paper examines the benefits and challenges inherent in using of randomized clinical trials and quasi-experimental designs in the field of education research.
Kazdin, A. E. (2011). Single-case research designs: Methods for clinical and applied settings . Oxford University Press.
A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research
The goal of this Policymaker’s Primer on Education Research is to help policymakers and other interested individuals answer three big questions: (1) What does the research say? (2) Is the research trustworthy? (3) How can the research be used to guide policy?
Lauer, P. A. (2004, February). A Policymaker's Primer on Education Research: How to Understand, Evaluate and Use it. ECS.
What Is a Culture of Evidence? How Do You Get One? And... Should You Want One?
This paper uses a framework derived from Cultural Historical Activity Theory to describe changes in organizational practice in two teacher education programs as they began to use new sources of outcome data to make decisions about program design, curriculum and instruction.
Peck, C. A., & McDonald, M. A. What Is a Culture of Evidence? How Do You Get One? And... Should You Want One?. Teachers College Record. Date accessed: 3/21/14 http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?contentid=17359
Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs for Generalized Causal Inference
This book is a valuable resource for graduate students and applied researchers who are interested designing experimental studies as well as for those needing to interpret both experimental and quasi-experimental research in the social and behavioral sciences.
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Baloney Detection Kit
“The Demon-Haunted World”, Carl Sagan provides tools for skeptical thinking. This excellent list is a strong tool to weed out the bad seeds in science.
Shermer, M., & Linse, P. (2001). The Baloney Detection Kit. Skeptic Society.
Pasteur’s Quadrant as the Bridge Linking Rigor with Relevance
The authors propose educational design research and communities of practice as frameworks through which to realize the promise of Pasteur's quadrant.
Smith, G. J., Schmidt, M. M., Edelen-Smith, P. J., & Cook, B. G. (2013). Pasteur's Quadrant as the Bridge Linking Rigor With Relevance. Exceptional Children, 79(2), 147-161.
Can Traditional Public Schools Replicate Successful Charter Models? A Different Take
This Op Ed piece from Daniel Willingham examines the study, Injecting Charter School Best Practices into Traditional Public Schools: Evidence from Field Experiments. Willingham makes a number of interesting points including: the need to disseminate the results of studies that failed to produce significant effects and the importance of understanding what and how it the study failed.
Willingham, D. (2014). Can Traditional Public Schools Replicate Successful Charter Models? A Different Take. Real Clear Education.
Translating Evidence into Efficacy: Evaluating Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Study Designs
This is a critical examination of the strength and weaknesses of research designs.
Wong, N. (2006). Translating Evidence into Efficacy: Evaluating Strengths and Weaknesses of Different Study Designs. Retrieved July 17, 2014.
TITLE
SYNOPSIS
Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching

This web site provides evidence-based resources for free to teachers, principals, and parents.

Best Evidence Encyclopedia

The Best Evidence Encyclopedia is a free web site created by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) under funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. It is intended to give educators and researchers fair and useful information about the strength of the evidence supporting a variety of programs available for students in grades K-12.

Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies
The mission of the organization is to advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to the solution of practical problems in the home, school, community, and the workplace
Campbell Collaboration (C2)

The organization promotes well-informed decision making by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.

Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE)
CRRE is a research center who’s major goal is to improve the quality of education through high-quality research and evaluation studies and the dissemination of evidence-based research.
Cochrane Collaboration
Cochrane is an independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health.
Current Controlled Trials - Medicine
This is an example from medicine of dissemination of evidence-based practices.
Daniel Willingham - Web Site
Daniel Willingham is a resource to help those interested in issues of education to find practical, helpful information on what works and what doesn’t. His videos are of special interest.
Data Quality Campaign
This nonprofit organization promotes the systematic and outcome driven use of data at all levels of education
Institute of Education Sciences
IES is the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.
Journal of Contemporary Clinical Trials
Contemporary Clinical Trials is an international journal that publishes manuscripts pertaining to the design, methods and operational aspects of clinical trials.
Logical Positivism
An overview of Logical Positivism and it’s impact on science and the issue of verifiability.
National Education Policy Center
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions.
National Institute of child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The NICHD conducts and supports research, that explore health processes; examines the impact of disabilities, diseases, and variations on the lives of individuals.
National Science Foundation
NSF is a federal agency created to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

The Technical Assistance Center on PBIS provides support states, districts and schools to establish, scale-up and sustain the PBIS framework.

Society for Prevention Research
This organization is dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health, and academic problems and the translation of that information to promote health and the well being of the public.
Spurious Correlations
An important rule of research is; correlation does not equal causation. Just because two events track each other over time does not mean that one caused the other. This web site mines data and uses to humor to make the point that for such correlations are often “Spurious Correlations”.
What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)

The goal of the WWC is a resource for informed education decision-making. The WWC identifies evidence-based practice, program, or policy, and disseminates summary information on the WWC website.

Back to Top