Exploring if, and How a Practice Works in Authentic Settings

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As Cook and Cook (2012) point out, evidence-based practices “represent practices that meet a high bar of empirical validation, but they do not trump practical wisdom and common sense when making instructional decisions” (p. 78). As educators, we are tasked with making decisions based on a body of evidence and a sound data-based decision-making process (Rowe, 2020). Teachers analyze assessment data across students to determine common themes that can be addressed using classwide versus individualized instruction. Teachers examine data from assessments (e.g., curriculum-based measures, formal assessments, informal interviews with students’ general education teachers, writing samples, and other assessment data) and find many students struggle with essential skills not addressed in the general curriculum. In the absence of published curricula to teach specific skills, teachers are left to construct their own lesson plans. Oftentimes, teachers pull from multiple sources (e.g., worksheets, teacher-made materials, materials found on the Internet). A source teachers might not often consider is the research literature itself. A single research article can be the source of one lesson or multiple lessons. A well-written research article provides all the information needed to develop core components of a lesson plan (i.e., lesson objective, setting and materials, content taught, teaching procedures, evaluation) [...]