Not every evidence-based program or practice is a good fit with the needs, values and philosophy of your education agency or organization. Having a good description of a program and its foundations is necessary so that administrators and staff can make informed choices about what to use. The Hexagon Tool used during the Exploration Stage provides some guidance for assessing the fit of an evidence-based program or practice with the goals and needs of an organization. Using the Hexagon tool with a race equity lens can prompt teams to consider potential impacts of the program or practice on the focus population and whether or not implementation of the program or practice could advance equitable outcomes for all individuals.
Additionally, make sure that you can identify these components:
- Clear Philosophy, Values and Principles
The philosophy, values and principles that underlie the program provide the guidance for all educational and program decisions and evaluations, and are used to promote consistency, integrity and sustainable effort across classrooms, schools and districts.
- Clear inclusion and exclusion criteria that define the population for which the program is intended.
The criteria define which students are most likely to benefit when the program is used as intended.
Once an evidence-based practice or program has a clear description, it is important to identify program components by considering the key features that must be present to say that an evidence-based practice is being used. For example, providing behavior specific praise requires both an affirmation and description of the behavior. Without either of those components, that comment is no longer considered behavior specific praise. Program components are often thought of as the big rocks or key ingredients that make up an evidence-based practice.
The speed and eﬀectiveness of implementation may depend upon knowing exactly what has to be in place to achieve the desired results for students, families, and communities. Knowing the core intervention components also lead to confident decisions about what can be adapted to suit your school or district and facilitate measurement of effectiveness.