How to use this approach to improve practice
Implementation science is increasingly being used in training to help highlight to school leaders and practitioners the need to ensure that any approach is applied in a way that ensures fidelity to have the greatest impact. One example of this is whole school nurturing approaches training, which explores how to successfully support the implementation of a nurturing approach. Watch the video clip to learn how St.Modan’s High School in Stirling did this.
Key improvement questions for practitioners using this approach include:
- Is there an evidence base for the intervention or programme that you are planning to implement?
- To what extent are you able to implement this intervention or programme to ensure fidelity?
- What are the core components that might have an impact on the effectiveness of this programme or intervention?
Explore this self-evaluation approach
Implementation science is an approach that focuses on supporting implementation of interventions in the real world whilst exploring the barriers to intervention effectiveness such as:
- attitudes, beliefs and values of those delivering the intervention
- recruitment and selection of suitable staff
- organisational structures such as available resources
- training, consultation and coaching
- use of evaluation and data.
It explores the application of research into real world contexts.
Many bodies that advocate evidence-based research also focus on the implementation protocols that accompany programmes, thus enhancing practitioner effectiveness, e.g. CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning)
It can be challenging to transfer promising research findings or interventions that have been successful elsewhere into everyday practice. Even when successful outcomes are achieved within one study, replicating these across different contexts may not necessarily produce similar results.
Implementation science recognises that when the same interventions are used but results vary significantly, this may be down to discrepancies within the implementation process. Consequently, research in this area has focused on what the core implementation components are to ensure that an intervention is effective, including to what extent a school or local authority is able to ensure fidelity to an approach. A number of models exist that look at the key stages involved in implementation. The implementation model illustrated in the accompanying PowerPoint and implementation framework are based on a model developed by Dean Fixsen.