A widely acknowledged gap between research and practice exists in education. Recent federal legislation mandates the use of research-based practices and allows districts to use a lack of response to intervention to qualify students for special education. This requires interventions with suitable evidence for such high-stakes decisions. To date, however, there has been little research on the evidence base for interventions that are commonly used in practice. This study examined the evidence base for the interventions provided to students in a large urban district. This district uses the problem-solving method to assign interventions for students who demonstrate academic or behavioral concerns. School psychologists play an integral role in this process. Volunteer psychologists participated in focus group interviews that investigated their knowledge of interventions used to re-engage students. The results of this study indicate the gap between research and practice still exists despite the focus on evidence-based practices. The majority of academic interventions had minimal evidence or could not be rated due to vague descriptions. Behavior interventions had stronger evidence of effectiveness. Psychologists, however, identified academic interventions with stronger evidence than behavioral interventions. Implications for practice, research, and policy are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.August 2013. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Jim Ysseldyke. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 115 pages.
Klingbeil, David Ashwin.
Examining the evidence-base for the interventions used in a large urban district.
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