Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Systems-level Analysis of Evidence-based Intervention Implementation by Problem-Solving Teams
Center: NCSER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Kratochwill, Thomas Awardee: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Program: Systems, Policy, and Finance      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8/1/2012-7/31/2015 Award Amount: $1,282,607
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A120212

Co-Principal Investigator: Jennifer M. Asmus

Purpose: Research indicates that schools rarely implement evidence-based practices for students exhibiting behavioral problems or disorders. In many cases, implementation of evidence-based practices may require a system-level change to improve their adoption and use as well as improve support and commitment from all school personnel. The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate an intervention protocol that adopts the principles of applied behavior analysis and applies them to an organization or system. The intervention protocol will help school problem-solving teams improve evidence-based practice selection and implementation, and ultimately address the needs of students with behavior problems or disorders.

Project Activities: Approximately 14 problem-solving teams and students with behavior problems/disorders in kindergarten through fifth grade will participate in this research project. The development of the intervention protocol will occur in three phases: (1) developing and revising protocol materials and assessments; (2) gathering information on reasons for low levels of implementation of evidence-based practices; and (3) determining the promise of the protocol for improving adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices and student behavior outcomes using single-case research design.

Products: The products of this project will include a fully developed intervention protocol designed to increase problem-solving teams' adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices targeted to students with disruptive behavior problems and disorders, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will take place in elementary schools in Wisconsin.

Sample: Approximately 14 problem-solving teams will participate in this research study. Each problem-solving team will consist of at least five members of the school staff, including such school-based personnel as the principal, a special education teacher, a school psychologist or counselor, a reading specialist, and a general education teacher. Students with behavior problems or disorders in kindergarten through fifth grade will also be included. The students will be referred to the problem-solving team for exhibiting disruptive behavior problems.

Intervention: An intervention protocol will be developed to improve school-based problem solving teams' adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices targeted to students with disruptive behavior problems or disorders. It will adapt principles of applied behavior analysis typically used with individual students to an organizational system level. The intervention protocol will include a range of systemic and individualized intervention strategies and assessments that can be customized to individual school needs. These strategies will include training for selecting evidence-based practices and interpreting data, arranging school resources more appropriately, and improving collaboration among school personnel.

Research Design and Methods: This development project will be conducted in three phases. During the first phase, the team will develop and revise the intervention protocol including assessments of school needs and fidelity of implementation. In addition, the research team will gather information on the issues related to low levels of implementation of evidence-based practices for students with disruptive behavior problems. During the second phase, data will be collected to determine protocol procedures, interventions, assessments, and other systemic characteristics associated with improved use of evidence-based practices by problem-solving teams. Finally, in the third phase, a pilot study will be conducted to examine the promise of the intervention using a multiple-baseline time-series across schools design. School-based teams will be randomly assigned to baseline, and intervention start times will be randomized in the pilot study.

Control Condition: School-based teams' baseline performance will serve as the within- and across-participants control conditions.

Key Measures: A variety of measures will be used to assess the promise of the intervention for improving evidence-based practices by school personnel, including self-assessment surveys, checklists, and observations. Data on student behavior problems will be collected using school-wide student summary data (e.g., referrals, suspensions). Data from focus groups with teachers and paraprofessionals will be collected and analyzed to provide insight into the intervention's feasibility, social validity, and acceptability.

Data Analytic Strategy: Visual and statistical analysis will be used to analyze the data from the pilot study. The research team will examine the trend and level of the data across phases, settings, and participants. Effect sizes will be reported.