In search of feasible fidelity

When deciding whether to adopt an evidence-based approach, educators should weigh the costs and benefits, explains David Andrews, and be prepared to implement it with fidelity

EDUCATORS WHO REMAIN UNAWARE of the need to make data-driven decisions and adopt evidence-based practices to improve student learning either live in severe isolation, or choose to ignore the call. The call for the use of data-driven decisions and the implementation of evidence-based practices in education permeates universities, government agencies, professional associations, and both the non-profit and for-profit sectors of education.

What we know
● Evidence-based approaches are not being widely adopted in classrooms.
● A cost-benefit analysis should be the starting point when deciding whether to adopt an evidence-based approach.
● Adopting and implementing an evidence-based approach requires faith in the evidence and an ongoing commitment to delivering it with fidelity.
● Teachers’ enthusiasm must be maintained.

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February 2012