It’s really hard to get research into practice. We have effective strategies for supporting the behavioral success of all students, including those with emotional and behavioral disorders, but they’re generally not being used. There are a lot of frameworks and theories about why this might be the case, and the general consensus seems to be that it’s kind of everyone’s fault. Researchers are really bad at sharing their results with the people who would most benefit from them, and there are a ton of barriers that practitioners interact with when implementing research in real-world settings. I’ve done some initial work in trying to bridge that gap, but it’s still not enough. So, we’re doing a couple projects right now to work on this.
We’re conducting a study utilizing discrete choice experiments to ask what educators want from a behavior intervention: what aspects matter the most, and what matters the least? If we know that, maybe we can get a little better at developing dissemination products that actually matter to teachers. Personnel on this project include Laura Alba and Tyler Womack.
In partnership with my colleague Dr. Dan Maggin at the University of Illinois at Chicago, we’re engaging in this study as the first part of a systematic line of research into how to get usable tools into the hands of special educators. First, we wanted to get more detailed information on what special educators see as the barriers and facilitators in using the results of research in their everyday work. We conducted structured interviews with practicing special educators to begin testing our hypotheses, and are in the process of analyzing the data. Personnel on this project include Molly Buren and Megan Ledoux.
I’m also working on a website devoted to providing implementable interventions to teachers and other educational professionals. Stay tuned!