Special Educator’s Perceptions of their Use of Evidence-Based Practices




Guckert, Mary

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Current federal regulations require the use of evidence-based practices to meet the diverse needs of students in the special education classroom. Evidence-based practices are proven to help students with special needs experience academic success. Recent studies reveal the research-to-practice gap still exists. This qualitative research study examined practicing special education teachers’ perceptions and use of evidence-based practices. Ten special education teachers were interviewed to explore this phenomenon. Major themes emerged from the analysis of the data sources that revealed all teachers believed that they were using evidence-bases practices; however, awareness levels varied and affected their personalization of research. Awareness levels of credible evidence-based practices ranged from high, medium and low. Sources of evidence are varied greatly from university coursework, research articles, co-workers’ ideas, and self-generated ideas. Personalization of evidence-based practices consisted of teachers adapting and modifying practices to meet their own needs, rather than relying on fidelity of treatment measures. Implications for the special education classroom are discussed.



Special education, Perceptions, Practices, Use, Teachers, Evidence-based