How Can We Bridge the Research-to-Practice Gap in Schools?
In Implementation of Mental Health Programs in Schools, Susan Forman discusses the myriad of issues that need to be considered for effectively implementing evidence-based programs in schools. Implementing evidence-based behavioral interventions is complex, labor intensive, and requires great attention to detail to ensure fidelity to the intervention. Add to the mix the pressures teachers and administrators face in this “age of accountability,” and it becomes clear as to why, in spite of school professionals having knowledge of evidence-based interventions, the school community may not be all that eager to implement them. As reviewer Rosemary Flanagan points out, the problem of failing to utilize a knowledge base that is supported by research is not limited to school-based professionals; there is a broad and extensive literature on implementation spanning fields illustrates this (para. 2).
What is your experience, as a psychologist either working within a school setting or outside the school setting as a consultant, with implementing and/or evaluating evidence-based programs implemented in schools? What strategies have you used to gain the stakeholder support needed for implementation?
What should be the role of the developers of evidence-based programs in helping close the research-to-practice gap and supporting high-quality implementation?
By Rosemary Flanagan
PsycCRITIQUES, 2015 Vol 60(31)