Implementation Issues Impeding Evidence-based Instruction for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities in One Public School System

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For over 50 years, providing relevant and individualized instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities (SSCD) has challenged school systems because of the heterogeneity of the population and the complicated nature of their learning characteristics, warranting the implementation of specific instruction using targeted, evidence-based instruction, not common practice in most school settings. The intention of this mixed-method Participatory Action Research (PAR) study is to investigate the barriers to providing evidence-based practices in District A while creating a framework of the PD required to increase teacher capacity to deliver the instruction. An Innovation Configuration Matrix (IC Matrix) created by Browder et al. (2014) will be used as the foundation for the study, as it details the evidence-based practices (EBPs) for students with severe disabilities by detailing what instruction is needed, how the instruction should be provided, and what supports are needed for the instruction to occur. The PAR process will occur through the administration and evaluation of a survey for all teachers of SSCD, followed by three convenings of a group of nine District A teachers of SSCD who will use the information of the survey, the IC Matrix, and federal and state guidance to create a PD Framework detailing the learning needs for all teachers of SSCD in District A.