Evidence-based Practice: A Framework for Making Effective Decisions


The research to practice gap in education has been a long-standing concern. The enactment of No Child Left Behind brought increased emphasis on the value of using scientifically based instructional practices to improve educational outcomes. It also brought education into the broader evidence-based practice movement that started in medicine and has spread across a number of human service disciplines. Although the term evidence-based practice has become ubiquitous in education, there is no common agreement about what it means. In this paper, we offer a definition of evidence-based practice, provide a rationale for it, and discuss some of the main tenants of evidence-based practice. Additionally, we describe a decision-making model that features the relationships between the critical sources of influence and the chief responsibilities of evidence-based practitioners.