Fleischman, S. (2006). Moving to evidence-based professional practice. Educational Leadership, 63(6), 87-90.
Abstract by author:
Schools have recently begun to place increased emphasis on the use of rigorous research evidence in guiding instructional decisions. Turning education into an evidence-based field is easier to advocate than to achieve, particularly in an environment of competing claims about what works. In this article, the author discusses the factors which hamper research use by educators: (1) too few rigorous and relevant studies; (2) difficulty in locating and applying existing research; and (3) distrust of research. Moreover, the author presents some resources which can help educators bridge the gap between research and practice: (1) explore ways to strengthen the connection between research and practice; (2) decipher and apply research; (3) learn more about using scientific approaches to improve learning; and (4) consult credible, timely, and usable evidence reviews. Like all advances in education, moving to evidence-based professional practice requires the leadership and hard work of teachers, principals, central office administrators, superintendents, parents, and community members. But in the end, evidence-based professional practice will only become a reality when educators embrace the scientific spirit and seek out and apply programs and practices that truly demonstrate their effectiveness.