Professionally, the term “evidence-based practice” is used both as a noun and as a verb. As a noun an evidence-based practice is an intervention that is based in science. As a verb evidence-based practice is the disposition of a practitioner to base the selection of their interventions in science.
While government policies and CEC’s own professional ethics call on special educators to use evidence-based practices in their classrooms, the special education field is only now developing criteria for classifying practices. As the trusted voice in special education, CEC has taken a lead role in defining criteria for classifying special education practices.
This report, published in 2014, was commissioned by the CEC Board of Directors. A workgroup comprised of seven special education researchers developed, vetted, and piloted the new standards for determining evidence-based practices (EBPs) in special education. CEC’s goal is that the standards will be applied to better understand the effectiveness of a range of practices for learners with disabilities.
Rather than classify practices simply as evidence-based or not, the new standards provide more detailed classifications of practices’ evidence bases. Specifically, the new standards result in instructional approaches being categorized as:
- Evidence-based practices.
- Potentially evidence-based practices.
- Having mixed effects.
- Having negative effects.
- Having insufficient evidence to categorize their effectiveness.
The expert members of the work group included Bryan Cook, Chair, Viriginia Buysse, Janette Klingner, Tim Landrum, Robin McWilliam, Melody Tankersley, and Dave Test.
CEC Preisdent Robin Brewer acknowledged CEC’s appreciation to its expert members in the workgroup including Bryan Cook, Chair, Viriginia Buysse, Janette Klingner, Tim Landrum, Robin McWilliam, Melody Tankersley, and Dave Test.