Klingner, Boardman, & McMaster, 2013

What Does it Take to Scale Up and Sustain Evidence-based Practices?

Implement, validate, and scale up
Starting large research projects can be cumbersome. A more agile approach might be to become more sensitive and react to contextual factors.

Scaling up is a process by which interventions are implemented small-scale, validated, and then implemented on a larger scale. IES defined a need for understanding the organizational conditions needed to support an intervention and determine the effects of selected moderators of the intervention. Even schools that implement successfully struggle with sustainability due to competing priorities, changing demands, and teacher/staff turnover.

Dunlap (2009) + Coburn (2003) = emergence, demonstration of capacity, elaboration, system adoption and sustainability.

Persistence after funding is low, even when the results are good. Cultural changes are required and local contextual features of an educational system must be acknowledges and managed. Other struggles occurred when scaling up was the domain of education policymakers, not researchers/teachers/administrators (but of course, right?) Funding agencies have also been challenging because they did not account for local complexities. IES funding structures typically wanted a “standard” implementation. They did not want to implement in an ad-hoc manner. From my experience in software development and implementation, I’d completely agree with that approach. Ad-hoc implementations lose the power of economies of scale and become troublesome/expensive to maintain. In software, we required business units to adapt to us, while education is a completely different deal.

Implementation science may be the missing link between standardized practices and successful implementations. Implementation science addresses adoption decisions, capacity building, training, technical assistance, consumer participation and satisfaction.

*under what conditions and with whom does an ebp work
*why is it necessary to support teacher implementation of an ebp
*what is necessary to increase the capacity of districts under different ecological and population differences
*what is necessary to support deep, broad, sustainable implementation of the ebp

*Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWPT)
*Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS)
*School Wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBS)

Success factors
*Maximizing contextual fit betw ebp and educational environment
*Promoting ebp as a priority
*Ensure fidelity of implementation
*Increase efficiency by integrating ebp into daily school operations
*Use data to make ongoing decisions about the ebp


It is important to strike a balance between implementation fidelity and teacher flexibility
Factors that can support it: PD and district leadership

When we fail to scale-up interventions, the result is a gap between research and practice.
*Lack of trust
*Not valuing the input of all stakeholders equally
*Different beliefs and philosophies
*Tendency to dismiss evidence that does not support our pre-existing views
*sometimes a practice is overstated in effectiveness or generalizability

PD on scale-up is highly recommended


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