Professional Judgment

All Research

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Professional judgment: A critical appraisal.

Professional judgment is required whenever conditions are uncertain.  This article provides an analysis of professional judgment and describes sources of error in decision making.

Barnett, D. W. (1988). Professional judgment: A critical appraisal. School Psychology Review., 17(4), 658-672.

Why education experts resist effective practice: Report of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation

This essay provides examples from reading and math curricula, describes how experts have, for ideological reasons, shunned some solutions that do display robust evidence of efficacy, then examines how public impatience has forced other professions to “grow up” and accept accountability and scientific evidence. 

Carnine, D. (2000). Why education experts resist effective practices (Report of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation). Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

Promoting Open Science to Increase the Trustworthiness of Evidence in Special Education.

The past two decades has seen an explosion of research to guide special educators improve the lives for individuals with disabilities. At the same time society is wrestling with the challenges posed by a post-truth age in which the public is having difficulty discerning what to believe and what to consider as untrustworthy. In this environment it becomes ever more important that researchers find ways to increase special educator’s confidence in the available knowledge base of practices that will reliably produce positive outcomes. This paper offers methods to increase confidence through transparency, openness, and reproducibility of the research made available to special educators. To accomplish this the authors propose that researchers in special education adopt emerging open science reforms such as preprints, data and materials sharing, preregistration of studies and analysis plans, and Registered Reports.

Cook, B. G., Lloyd, J. W., Mellor, D., Nosek, B. A., & Therrien, W. (2018). Promoting Open Science to Increase the Trustworthiness of Evidence in Special Education.

Evidence-based medicine

This journal attempts to fill the chasm by helping doctors find the information that will ensure they can provide optimum management for their patients. 

Davidoff, F., Haynes, B., Sackett, D., & Smith, R. (1995). Evidence based medicine.

Chapter 2 Evidence-Based Education and Best Available Evidence: Decision-Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty.

Decisions always involve a degree of uncertainty because the outcomes are not known.  This chapter explores the sources of evidence that can inform educational decisions.

Detrich, R., Slocum, T. A., & Spencer, T. D. (2013). Chapter 2 Evidence-Based Education and Best Available Evidence: Decision-Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty. In B. G. Cook, M. Tankersley, & T. J. Landrum (Eds.), Evidence-Based Practices (pp. 21-44.). Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Formal mentoring programs in education and other professions: A review of the literature

This paper draws upon a structured analysis of over 300 research-based papers on mentoring across three discipline areas in an attempt to make more valid inferences about the nature and outcomes of mentoring.

Ehrich, L. C., Hansford, B., & Tennent, L. (2004). Formal mentoring programs in education and other professions: A review of the literature. Educational administration quarterly40(4), 518-540.

Will the “principles of effectiveness” improve prevention practice? Early findings from a diffusion study

This study examines adoption and implementation of the US Department of Education's new policy, the `Principles of Effectiveness', from a diffusion of innovations theoretical framework. In this report, we evaluate adoption in relation to Principle 3: the requirement to select research-based programs.

Hallfors, D., & Godette, D. (2002). Will the “principles of effectiveness” improve prevention practice? Early findings from a diffusion study. Health Education Research, 17(4), 461–470.

Evidence-based Pharmacologic Treatment for People with Severe Mental Illness: a focus on guidelines and algorithms.

In this article we discuss guidelines and algorithms as a means of addressing the complexity of pharmacologic treatment of people with severe mental illnesses and disseminating relevant research findings.

Mellman, T. A., Miller, A. L., Weissman, E. M., Crismon, M. L., Essock, S. M., & Marder, S. R. (2001). Evidence-based pharmacologic treatment for people with severe mental illness: a focus on guidelines and algorithms. Psychiatric Services52(5), 619-625.

Demanding Medical Excellence: Doctors and Accountability in The Information Age.

This book reveals how the information revolution is changing the way doctors make decisions. Michael Millenson, a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee as a health-care reporter for the Chicago Tribune, illustrates serious flaws in contemporary medical practice and shows ways to improve care and save tens of thousands of lives.

Millenson, M. L. (2018). Demanding medical excellence: Doctors and accountability in the information age. University of Chicago Press.

Diffusion of innovations

This book looks at how new ideas spread via communication channels over time. Such innovations are initially perceived as uncertain and even risky. To overcome this uncertainty, most people seek out others like themselves who have already adopted the new idea. Thus the diffusion process typically takes months or years. But there are exceptions: use of the Internet in the 1990s, for example, may have spread more rapidly than any other innovation in the history of humankind. 

Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press.

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