De-evolution of expectations for evidence-based practices in public education in the United States

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Abstract

Public education in the United States has been undergoing a shift from an empirical tradition in which practices and policies are derived from research, practice, reflection, and implementation. In this empirical tradition, professionals embrace a culture and commitment to evidence-based practices (EBPs) and expect that practices and policies in the field are supported by rational, data-driven models. In this paper, we present an argument and three cases that illustrate how educators have been undergoing a gradual shift away from empiricism toward a de-evolution of EBP. We propose that this gradual shift is based on a political-social context, in which practices and policies are implemented using the language of an accountability model of reform, in which national and state regulations, and accreditation bodies, establish expectations often devoid of an empirical basis for the practices they mandate.

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How to Cite
Brady, M. P., & Hazelkorn, M. (2019). De-evolution of expectations for evidence-based practices in public education in the United States. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 27, 137. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.27.4590
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Author Biographies

Michael P. Brady, Florida Atlantic University

Michael Brady, Ph.D., is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University, with administrative responsibility for programs in early childhood, special education, and the Academy for Community Inclusion, FAU’s post-secondary program for adults with developmental disabilities. His scholarship incudes teacher and faculty preparation, effective teaching interventions, policy and reform initiatives, social relationships between people with and without disabilities, and community inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

Michael Hazelkorn, K & M Coastal Consultants

Michael Hazelkorn has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Arizona and a doctorate in special education from the University of Georgia. He taught at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of West Georgia, and the College of Coastal Georgia. He served as chair of a department at two universities and was the dean of the school of education at the third. He is now retired.