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Peggy McCardle, Ph.D., MPH Peggy McCardle Consulting, LLC. Annapolis MD Research to Practice – How do federally funded studies get translated… to policy.

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Presentation on theme: "Peggy McCardle, Ph.D., MPH Peggy McCardle Consulting, LLC. Annapolis MD Research to Practice – How do federally funded studies get translated… to policy."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peggy McCardle, Ph.D., MPH Peggy McCardle Consulting, LLC. Annapolis MD Research to Practice – How do federally funded studies get translated… to policy and practice?

2 Importance of reading research… Undisputed, given US results both on NAEP and on international assessments Education is always a focus of attention, but not always the top priority Have to find ways to keep it in the public eye – “our nations future workforce”, “key to our remaining an international power” etc.

3 Strategies will include… Advocacy – has to include looking at the children’s, schools’, and teachers’ needs (not always wants, but needs) Education (of the public, including politicians and education administrators) Provision of evidence to underpin advocacy and education

4 Federal Agencies that support Reading Research

5 Complementary Approaches Ideally with some ‘healthy overlap’ or coordination between them…

6 National Institutes of Health Mission To seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. (There are 27 Institutes – of those, NICHD supports work on reading and learning disabilities, because for children and youth, reading is a key part of this mission!)

7 Institute of Education Sciences Mission To provide rigorous and relevant evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and share this information broadly. By identifying what works, what doesn't, and why, to improve educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure.

8 Who supports what? NIH Behavioral and social science research (theoretically grounded basic and applied work) Basic Science (neurobiology of human development, basic mechanisms including behavior & learning) Health, disability, technology and its use (theoretical and hypothesis driven – both basic science and treatment/interventions)

9 Who supports what? IES Studies of student instruction Curriculum development Teacher Professional Development Special education interventions Scale-up – implementation by teachers in multiple schools and classrooms Program evaluation.

10 Specific recent NICHD efforts

11 What is NICHD doing lately that can help…? Over the years, since the major watershed event of publication of the Report of the National Reading Panel in 2000…. NICHD has developed funding efforts on various aspects of reading at all ages – preschool through adolescence and adulthood, in various populations– including minorities, bilingual/ELL, and those with comorbidities.

12 NICHD, most recently and ongoing… Reading and Learning Research A focus for over 4 decades, including ELL since 2000 Learning Disabilities Research Centers Renewed funding since the 1980’s In 2012, focused on comorbordities in reading and writing disabilities Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs New initiative, focused on understudied populations

13 How do we hear about these studies and their results? Read peer reviewed journals or …. Read the reports (NRP report is ~350 pages) or…. Books, web sites, talks by researchers at applied or clinical meetings (meaning IDA, IRA, etc.) News reports – but these are not always clear or are “too clear” because they tend to simplify (the Magic Bullet syndrome). So… what are some useful resources?

14 Resources NICHD Centers on Learning Disabilities

15 The NICHD Learning Disabilities Centers and Hubs Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs – New program of mini- ‘centers’ that focus on understudied research topics and populations, and building the next generation of researchers Ga. State U., Ohio State U., UCSD, and Vanderbilt U. Learning Disabilities Research Centers Florida State U., Univ. of Houston, Univ. of Colorado, and Univ. of Washington

16 Florida Center for Reading Research ( Multidisciplinary research center at FSU, that explores all aspects of reading/literacy, for both typically developing and struggling readers, prevention and intervention, and psychometrics of formative assessment. Four-Part Mission: basic research, dissemination, applied research and technical assistance to FL schools.

17 Texas Center for Learning Disasbilties ( Research center funded by the NICHD to investigate classification, early intervention, and remediation of LDs. Has separate info tabs for researchers, parents, and teachers, including free sample lesson plan downloads, and professional development pages focused on middle school and adolescence.

18 Colorado Learning Disabilities Research Center ( Housed at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics, focuses on the characterization, validation, and ameliorization of reading and writing disabilities and ADHD (separately and comorbidly). Funded by the NIH since the 1970s, they study genetics, the shared environment and its impact. Doesn’t offer hands-on materials or resources like the others but produces invaluable data and collaborates with the other LDRCs.

19 Univ. of Washington LDRC No individual web site yet established at this new center Focuses on LD and literacy, as the others, but with a special focus on written language as well (See CHDD_Outlook_2012_8.pdf) Watch for resources to be developed

20 More Resources A sampling…. There’s a lot out there, but look for ‘research-based’, ‘evidence- based’, and links to research in the providers of these resources….

21 Children’s Learning Institute ( Univ of Tx Health Sciences Center (Houston), combines cutting edge psychological, neurodevelopmental, education and child dev. research to provide learning solutions Services include clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment of learning disorders Has a “Products & Services” page that includes free downloads and a “Library” of videos and presentations.

22 Vaughn Gross Center for Reading and Language Arts ( Translates research to practice, emphasizing scientifically based research, reading instruction for all students, especially struggling readers, ELL students, and special ed students. Provides materials via the “Library” of The Meadows Center, including free downloads (e.g., the Read-Aloud Routine teacher’s flipbook) as well as abstracts and links to research. Includes math, RTI, as well as literacy and language topics.

23 Other major research supporting the research-to-practice pipeline Work at Haskins Laboratories (supported by the NICHD for decades, also supported by various other agencies, foundations, and donors) LD scientific articles - esearchinfo/pages/articles.aspx esearchinfo/pages/articles.aspx Search PubMed at the National Library of Medicine, NIH – e.g., search on learning disabilities turned up 44,719 articles!

24 Center for Applied Linguistics Provides a comprehensive range or research- based info, tools and resources on language(s) and culture(s). Special focus on ELL/ESL ( with research- based resources for all ages Impressive list of ongoing projects, including a past major grant from NICHD (DELSS), and a current IES-Funded one (CREATE) which has sample lesson plans and other resources.

25 Resources a last few that are near to my heart….

26 A partnership activity of NICHD and the IRA. An expert panel met virtually for a series of discussions to address the Reading – Writing Connection. The white paper can be accessed at /resources/reading- writingconnection_final.pdf /resources/reading- writingconnection_final.pdf

27 Reading vs. Writing, Research Reading While more is known about early reading, there is a substantial body of research on reading, the effect of instruction, and the successes of early intervention. Less is known about how best to intervene at later grades and in general about reading comprehension. Writing While there is less research on writing and writing instruction, the body of work is growing. Some aspects of intervention have positively impacted both the quality and quantity of student writing, as well as affecting reading comprehension. Research on PD has shown that teachers can become highly effective in teaching strategies for writing and self-regulation of the writing process.

28 Has also resulted in an edited volume (Brookes Publishing) with chapters by panel members, written for teachers, not other researchers!

29 Cultural/linguistic differences must be addressed, and not simply used as excuses not to adequately educate our children There has been a belief that evidence-based practice cannot also be culturally sensitive or appropriate The two research ‘camps’ of qualitative and quantitative have claimed evidence vs. cultural appropriateness, but they’re getting over that! Educators need to get over it too… and some are!

30 Narrowing the Achievement Gap for Native American Students: Paying the educational debt. McCardle & Berninger (Eds) (forthcoming) To bring together the two traditions of evidence-based practice and multiculturalism/culturally appropriate practices To heighten awareness about Native Americans (and other indigenous and linguistically different groups) To illustrate efforts to implement evidence-based, multiculturally sensitive practices for all students To call for research that combines these two traditions

31 How does this affect policy… And how can we get it into our classrooms?

32 Policy? We should demand that policies… Be based on what is known, rather than on opinion or fad or ‘true beliefs’ Assist, not penalize Be subjected to research/ evaluation and Produce (and publish) data on their effects!

33 Research should affect policy Better, it should INFORM policies as they are developed, Guide their implementation And study/ test them as they are implemented. Research should influence CHANGES in policies that don’t work!

34 Policies need not be threatening Why have some policies not worked? Were they informed by research? Did those tasked with implementation have enough information to understand them, and enough time to prepare? Policies aimed at results within an election cycle tend to be pushed too fast, with too little preparation, and insufficient planning.

35 CHANGE IS HARD Few like or embrace change (unless it’s their own idea) Changing behavior is not easy – we know this from dieting, exercise, etc. Being told you’re doing something wrong is threatening…. But being asked to change doesn’t mean you weren’t doing some good things….

36 How do we effect change? Share the information we have Learn and embrace the change ourselves – Model change! Then advocate for it! Develop elevator talks that don’t dumb it down Include all levels (parents, teachers, admin, research, policy makers, legislators)

37 Advocacy now… We all must convince educators and legislators/policy makers that it’s still important to teach reading, writing, and language structure. This means teachers must know about the structure of language, and how kids learn to read and write… and how kids learn. School reform should be about instruction and teacher preparation, not just buildings, technology, and materials.

38 Co-opt and Collaborate Mesh the cognitive and social aspects of learning –education is not ALL about relationships and self-efficacy, but they ARE important to learning. It’s time to integrate and truly work across ‘disciplines’ in our learning and intervention research, but also in our classrooms! Researchers and educators from various ‘cultures’ need to be fluent across areas of child development, and break down our silos to develop more integrative approaches to improving learning.

39 Concluding thoughts… Strategies and my crystal ball

40 Evidence-based practice requires… An evidence base (so we need to keep doing research!) Awareness of that evidence (so researchers need to get it out to journals AND to more public venues, in readable language) Someone to use that evidence (get it in the hands of teachers, ed faculty, and parents) Reciprocity – research to demonstrate whether that evidence that is being put in practice works or needs some tweaking!

41 Research to Practice to Research! As we move research to practice, we should study Whether it works as advertised (if implemented as recommended) How we might improve it What ideas we can glean for new interventions/ instructional approaches. Partnering with schools and teachers can Ensure that research gets into practice Improve classroom-based research FYI: Research to Practice to Research! is also the topic of an upcoming (June 2014) TDF symposium that includes educators and ‘practice representatives’. Book to follow…

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