Making New Year’s Resolutions? Select and Implement an Evidence-Based Practice in Your School or Classroom!January marks the beginning of a new year and brings with it a spirit of reflection and commitment to self-improvement. Many of us make plans to change a current work routine or establish a new one, but weeks to months later, find we have fallen back into the old routine and are wondering why the new one did not take root.
Finding ways to start and sustain new “ways of working” has been a challenge for individuals and organizations since New Year’s resolutions began! However, thanks to the field of Implementation Science (Blasé et al, 2015), we are beginning to discover processes that ensure we both choose the right evidence-based practice (EBP) to address an identified need and create the conditions that make it take root and thrive. Need a reminder of what EBPs are? They are practices that are supported by multiple, high-quality studies that utilize research designs from which causality can be inferred (group experimental, group quasi-experimental, and single subject) and that demonstrate meaningful effects on student outcomes (Boniello, 2016; Cook & Odom, 2013). Finding EBPs in the field of education is becoming easier and easier as there is a growing body of high quality research on instructional practices, with a related increase in resources for learning about them. (See our School Tool on page 3 for some trustworthy sources of EBPs.)