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Determining evidence-based practices in special education

by Cook, B.G., Tankersley, M., & Landrum, T.J.

Cook, B., Tankersley, M. & Landrum, T. (2009). Determining evidence-based practices in special education. Exceptional Children, 75(3), 365-383.

Determining evidence-based practices is a complicated enterprise that requires analyzing the methodological quality and magnitude of the available research supporting specific practices.  This article reviews criteria and procedures for identifying what works in the fields of clinical psychology, school psychology, and general education; and it compares these systems with proposed guidelines for determining evidence-based practices in special education.  The authors then summarize and analyze the approaches and findings of the 5 reviews presented in this article.  In these reviews, prominent special education scholars applied the proposed quality indicators for high-quality research and standards for evidence-based practice to bodies of empirical literature.  The article concludes by synthesizing these scholars; preliminary recommendations for refining the proposed quality indicators and standards for evidence-based practices in special education, as well as the process for applying them.


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