Practitioner Perception of the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices in the Special Education Classroom: A Case Study
School of Education
Doctor of Philosophy
Evidence-based Practices, Implementation, Special Education, Decision-making, Factors, K-12
Education | Special Education and Teaching
Swezey, Jolene G., "Practitioner Perception of the Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices in the Special Education Classroom: A Case Study" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2860.
The purpose of this qualitative instrumental case study was to identify factors that inform the decision-making process of 11 special education practitioners for the implementation of evidence-based practices in the classroom at Central Combined School (pseudonym). The theoretical framework for this study is Lipsky’s street-level bureaucracy theory. Street-level bureaucracy theory states that social services workers use discretion to administer required policies. Understanding how special educators act as street-level bureaucrats will provide new insights into teacher perception of the decision-making process for implementing evidence-based practices. The central research question asked, What are the factors that inform the decision-making process for special education practitioners for the implementation of evidence-based practices in the classroom? Data were collected using individual interviews, an online focus group, and documents/archival records. Data analysis consisted of categorical aggregation, development of naturalistic generalizations, and development of themes. Five themes developed from the research of this study: collaboration, expectations, environment, individualization, and training. This study revealed that substantial administrative support, mentoring, collaboration, coaching, ongoing professional development, and access to resources were vital factors to implementing new practices within schools.