There is a wide gulf between the practices that have received extensive research support and the practices that are carried out in education and human services. Even when legislation and policy exhorts and mandates educators to implement evidence-based practices, the reality on the ground is far from high quality implementation of practices that have research support. Three levels of problems can be identified: (1) What is known is not what is adopted, (2) what is adopted is not used with fidelity, and (3) what is implemented disappears with time and turnover. In order to improve outcomes, we need both (1) effective practices and (2) effective implementation. Implementation is not an event, but a mission-oriented process involving multiple decisions, actions, and corrections. Effective implementation requires an active purveyor that can change the behavior of adult human service professions. This requires simultaneous, multi-level interventions in systems that are constantly in processes of change. These interventions must (1) help faculty/staff acquire the knowledge, skills, and ability to effectively provide the innovations to students, (2) help schools and districts change to more effectively support the work of faculty/staff, and (3) transform education systems to effectively facilitate and sustain the use of innovations statewide.
|Dr. Dean L. Fixsen received his doctorate in Experimental Psychology from the University of Kansas in 1970. In 1969 he began a long-term collaboration with Elery ("Lonnie") Phillips, Elaine Phillips-Stork, and Montrose Wolf in the development of the internationally acclaimed Teaching-Family Model. He served as Co-Director of the Achievement Place Research Project during the years of intense research on the treatment components of the Model. In 1975 Dean was one of five Teaching-Family researchers who moved to Father Flanagan's Boys' Home to transition that large organization from institutional care to family-based care for boys and girls. This was the first replication of a Teaching-Family site and provided many opportunities to learn about organizational change, organizational development, practical program evaluation, program administration, and systems development. It also provided the opportunity to develop a dissemination system to replicate and implement the Teaching-Family Site concept nationally. He has co-authored nearly 100 publications, served on numerous editorial boards, and advised state and federal governments. Dr. Fixsen is currently a Research Professor at the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute where he and Karen Blase are involved in establishing a national center for research on program dissemination and implementation, the National Implementation Research Network.|