Browder, D. M., & Cooper-Duffy, K. (2003). Evidence-based practices for students with severe disabilities and the requirements for accountability in "No Child Left Behind". The Journal of Special Education, 37(3), 157-163.
To define what is special about the education of students with severe disabilities, this article provides a snapshot of research-based practices that are relevant to the "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) focus on accountability. The NCLB requirement to assess all students in reading, math, and science is contrasted to the functional approach typical of skill acquisition research for this population. The concept of adequate yearly progress is addressed by reviewing the types of instructional strategies that would most likely yield progress. Information is also provided on the extent to which teachers use research based strategies. We conclude that prior research provides guidance for how to select and teach skills even though new applications for academics are needed.
Gersten, R., Fuchs, L. S., Compton, D., Coyne, M., Greenwood, C., & Innocenti, M. S. (2005). Quality indicators for group experimental and quasi-experimental research in special education. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 149-164.
This article presents quality indicators for experimental and quasi-experimental studies for special education. These indicators are intended not only to evaluate the merits of a completed research report or article but also to serve as an organizer of critical issues for consideration in research. We believe these indicators can be used widely, from assisting in the development of research plans to evaluating proposals. In this article, the framework and rationale is explained by providing brief descriptions of each indicator. Finally, we suggest a standard for determining whether a practice may be considered evidence-based. It is our intent that this standard for evidenced-based practice and the indicators be reviewed, revised as needed, and adopted by the field of special education.
Gresham, F. M. (2004). Current status and future directions of school-based behavioral interventions. School Psychology Review, 33(3), 326-343.
This article describes current status and future directions for school-based behavioral interventions. The article is centered on four themes that are considered critical for future research and practice in school-based behavioral intervention work. First, the article argues for conceptualizing interventions based on intensity level and purpose (universal, selected, and target/intensive interventions). Second, response to intervention approach should be used as the basis for changing, modifying, or intensifying interventions. Third, evidence-based practices should be used for selecting and evaluating interventions. Fourth, social validation of behavioral interventions should be used to establish the clinical or applied significance of target behavior selection and to document the social importance of effects. Contributions of functional behavioral assessment in designing and implementing behavioral interventions are examined. Future directions for research and practice in behavioral interventions in schools are considered.
Horner, R. H., Carr, E. G., Halle, J., McGee, G., Odom, S., & Wolery, M. (2005). The use of single-subject research to identify evidence-based practice in special education. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 165-179.
Single-subject research plays an important role in the development of evidence-based practice in special education. The defining features of single-subject research are presented, the contributions of single-subject research for special education are reviewed, and a specific proposal is offered for using single-subject research to document evidence-based practice. This article allows readers to determine if a specific study is a credible example of single-subject research and if a specific practice or procedure has been validated as "evidence-based" via single-subject research.
Justice, L. M. (2006). Evidence-based practice, response to intervention, and the prevention of reading difficulties. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 37(4), 284-297.
Purpose: This article provides an evidence-based perspective on what school communities can do to lower the prevalence of reading difficulties among their pupils through preventive interventions. It also delineates the roles that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) might play in these interventions. Method: This article is organized to first provide a broad overview of current directions in research, practice, and policy in educational interventions, with an emphasis on how the three are increasingly integrated to respond to evidence showing that American school children are underperforming in reading. Next, the concept of response to intervention (RTI) is described. RTI is an educational policy and practice that is grounded in the accumulated literature that focuses on how schools might better organize themselves to deliver multitiered reading interventions to reduce children's risk for reading disability. Last, this article provides three organizational principles that school-based professionals, including SLPs, might follow to deliver RTI interventions. Implications: This article provides an important and timely description of key concepts in the prevention of reading difficulties through proactive multitiered interventions. SLPs can draw on the suggestions presented here to inform their local efforts in implementing preventive literacy programs that are consistent with an RTI paradigm.
Odom, S. L. (2005). Research in special education: Scientific methods and evidence-based practices. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 137-148.
This article sets the context for the development of research quality indicators and guidelines for evidence of effective practices provided by different methodologies. The current conceptualization of scientific research in education and the complexity of conducting research in special education settings underlie the development of quality indicators. Programs of research in special education may be viewed as occurring in stages: moving from initial descriptive research, to experimental causal research, to finally research that examines the processes that might affect wide-scale adoption and use of a practice. At each stage, different research questions are relevant, and different research methodologies to address the research questions are needed.
Thompson, B., Diamond, K. E., McWilliam, R., Snyder, P., & Snyder, S. W. (2005). Evaluating the quality of evidence from correlational research for evidence-based practice. Exceptional Children, 71(2), 181-194.
Only true experiments offer definitive evidence for causal inferences, but not all educational interventions are readily amenable to experiments. Correlational evidence can at least tentatively inform evidence-based practice when sophisticated causal modeling or exclusion methods are employed. Correlational evidence is most informative when exemplary practices are followed as regards (a) measurement, (b) quantifying effects, (c) avoiding common analysis errors, and (d) using confidence intervals to portray the range of possible effects and the precisions of the effect estimates.