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Handbook of Implementation Science for Psychology in Education
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Implementation science is the science of the effectiveness of research for real-world practitioners. This book is an indispensable, highly innovative and evidence-based resource aimed at utilizing research in psychology to improve all aspects of education, from individual teaching programs to organizational development. It addresses the widespread confusion and disappointment about the lack of effectiveness of real-world psychology and provides twenty-seven chapters offering proven policies, strategies and approaches for designing, supporting and improving interventions in schools. Collectively, the chapters go beyond the realm of psychology and education, tackling concerns about how to promote positive change in any context, covering topics from epistemology through statistics to examples of implementation approaches, frameworks and protocols. This book creates an immensely relevant body of information and evidence for any practitioner or organization facing the challenges of change. Essential reading for practitioners, policy makers, stakeholders and funders in psychology, education and beyond.

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  • Chapter 6 - Using Evidence to Inform Practice in Science Teaching
    pp 92-108
  • The Promise, the Practice, and the Potential
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    Implementation science is a new area of scientific, academic and practitioner interest focused on exploring and explaining what makes interventions work in real-world contexts. In education, psychological theory and empirical research have informed and continue to inform and develop many aspects of teaching and learning. Evidence-based intervention is developed by rigorous, systematic scientific procedures. Implementation scientists focus on the real-world contexts that make measurable effectiveness so difficult to achieve. This is central to the development of the concept of evidence-based practice in applied social contexts. It seems that implementation science has only begun to uncover the complexity of implementation and will continue to draw on eclectic perspectives, mixed models and wide-ranging evidence to create working models of reality and change. If effective implementation is the key to intervention effectiveness, then all practitioners involved directly and indirectly in education and related professions are pivotal to its success.
  • Chapter 8 - The Role of Executive Problem-Solving Frameworks in Preparing for Effective Change in Educational Contexts
    pp 132-149
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    This chapter discusses implementation science in relation to the process of evaluation of effects in social and educational interventions. Many social policy interventions delivered in education, public health practice or family and children services can be viewed as 'complex interventions'. Adequate development and piloting work needs to be incorporated, with specific attention being paid to the practical issues of implementation. Once an issue has been identified for resolution, the existing evidence base should be identified in order to select a programme or intervention with evidence of effectiveness for the target population. Complex interventions may include many different participant levels, such as individuals (e.g., pupils, teachers and parents), community units (e.g., children centres or schools), or whole populations. Recruitment and retention are likely to be higher if the intervention is valued by potential participants such as teachers, children, parents and delivery staff.
  • Chapter 9 - Researching Readiness for Implementation of Evidence-Based Practice
    pp 150-164
  • A Comprehensive Review of the Evidence-Based Practice Attitude Scale (EBPAS)
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    This chapter considers the role of experiments in regard to evaluation and action research in determining whether change in educational contexts can be attributed to the introduction of an intervention approach or programme. It explains the three classes of experimental design: 'true' experimental designs, such as randomised, controlled trials (RCTs), 'quasi-experimental' designs, and also 'small-n' experimental designs. True' and 'quasi-experiments' are 'studies of deliberate intervention. In the case of a 'true' experimental design such as an RCT, allocation to groups must be random. 'Small- n' experimental designs involve the manipulation of an independent (treatment) variable across a pre-intervention baseline phase, an intervention phase, and commonly a post-intervention phase. Most published studies of the effectiveness of school-based interventions use quasi-experimental designs. It is important for educational researchers to be aware of the beliefs and values of participants and stakeholders and indeed of underlying policy contexts and political realities.
  • Chapter 10 - Change-Focused Organizational Consultation in School Settings
    pp 165-183
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    This chapter describes how meta-analysis can be used for synthesising findings from implementation practices research. It provides a brief overview of implementation science, research and practice. A better understanding of the processes that operate to promote adoption and use of evidence-based intervention practices is facilitated by implementation research. The chapter presents a framework for categorising different types of implementation and intervention studies. It describes a nontechnical description of meta-analysis with a focus on a particular approach to conducting a research synthesis which attempts to unbundle and unpack the characteristics of implementation practices that influence the adoption and use of evidence-based intervention practices. The latter type of meta-analysis is illustrated using a research synthesis of adult learning methods to show the yield from this type of practice based translational research synthesis. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of meta-analysis for informing advances in implementation research and practice.
  • Chapter 11 - Implementation of Interventions to Promote School Readiness
    pp 184-204
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    This chapter considers the background against which evidence-based initiatives have been introduced into education and science education. There has been considerable debate over the last fifteen years about the nature of educational research and a drive to improve its quality through adoption of a more scientific approach. Systematic reviews have been proposed as a key early step that can be taken towards improving educational research. The Science Review Group at York has undertaken systematic reviews in three areas: the impact on students of the use of context-based and science-technology society (STS) approaches to the teaching of science, the use and effects of small group discussion work in science teaching, and the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on science teaching. The chapter focuses on the findings of the reviews undertaken in the first two of these areas.
  • Chapter 12 - Maximizing the Effectiveness of Social-Emotional Interventions for Young Children Through High-Quality Implementation of Evidence-Based Interventions
    pp 207-229
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    This chapter explores the potential of implementation science to support the development of school psychology. Implementation science perspectives and evidence base provide essential information for effective school psychology service delivery. In Scotland in particular, systems and frameworks exist in school psychology that provide a substrate for the effective incorporation of evidence-based implementations. Over the last forty years, school psychology practitioners have anticipated much of the evidence now emerging from implementation science. They have highlighted contextual barriers to change experienced in schools but arguably have lacked sufficient scientific influence and the large-scale evidential basis required to create scientific impact. Diversity in origins and scope is clearly influential in the context of the development of the role of educational psychology day to day. For school psychology, the development of realist epistemology has proved central to understanding, defining, focusing and measuring the processes which govern change in real-world contexts.
  • Chapter 13 - Framework for Improving the Impact of School-Based Social Competence Programs
    pp 230-246
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    This chapter argues that for quality teaching to be achieved, teachers must engage in professional training and development, which involves formulating and developing theories of their applied practice based on research and experience and which includes a critical reflection of actual data. An important component in what is acknowledged to be a complex multi-faceted task is the view that it is the quality of teacher problem solving and decision making that is a key variable in linking sound research to effective practice and thus supporting the raising of pupil standards and attainments. The 'scientist-practitioner approach' involves a conceptual stance by practitioners in which teaching methods and practices are informed according to valid and reliable evidence, either derived from the research literature or developed rigorously through the use of the scientific method within 'real-world' situations.
  • Chapter 14 - Positive Behavior Support and Young People with Autism
    pp 247-263
  • Strategies of Prevention and Intervention
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    Attitudes toward innovation can be a facilitating or limiting factor in the dissemination and implementation of new technologies. Several demographic and professional characteristics of providers have been found to be related to attitudes toward evidence-based practice, as measured by the evidence-based practice attitude scale (EBPAS). Organizational culture and climate both have been found to be related to providers' attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Positive climate measured by the organizational readiness for change scale was negatively related to divergence scores on the EBPAS and demoralizing or negative organizational climate has been found to be positively related to divergence scores. Leadership behaviors in an organization, specifically transformational and transactional leadership, have been related to attitudes toward evidence-based practice. Transactional leadership was positively associated with the openness subscale and marginally positively associated with the requirements subscale.
  • Chapter 16 - Evidence-Based Reading Interventions
    pp 277-297
  • Implementation Issues for the Twenty-First Century
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    The belief that school readiness is important is supported by longitudinal research indicating that children's skills in various domains at the time of school entry are often predictive of their school adjustment, achievement, and other significant outcomes years later. Among the component skills that comprise school readiness are cognitive, behavioral, and social-emotional competencies. Teacher-child closeness is associated with young children's reading skills, whereas dependency and conflict in the teacher-child relationship are associated with school avoidance and poor achievement. Evidence-based early childhood interventions to promote school readiness are often not adopted in real-world settings because of perceptions that they are ineffective or too costly. School readiness interventions vary somewhat with regard to their particular goals and strategies. Developmental and educational experts continue to seek ways to refine and enhance school readiness interventions so that they provide the maximum benefits to children in poverty and other risk groups.
  • Chapter 18 - Implementing Evidence-Based Leisure Education Programmes during School
    pp 313-330
  • View abstract


    The use of universal, evidence-based social-emotional curricula in early educational settings is expanding. Although these programs have the potential to enhance target outcomes, their success depends on the quality with which they are conducted in community settings. This chapter provides guidelines to practitioners who are planning to implement these types of interventions to ensure quality implementation and maximize effectiveness. First, it summarizes the most effective intervention models that are currently available for communities to enhance the social competence of young children. Next, the chapter defines the core process components of social-emotional interventions because these reflect high-quality implementation and are the primary mechanisms responsible for behavior change in participants. Instructional core components of social-emotional interventions include general teaching practices and specific promotion strategies. There are a number of ways to assess implementation, but the most common approaches include indicators of fidelity, dosage, and quality of delivery.

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