Research–Practice Partnership: Application to Implementation of Multitiered System of Supports in Early Childhood Education

Howard Goldstein, Meaghan Mckenna, Robert M Barker, Tracye H Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Research–practice partnerships (RPPs) offer a tool for identifying, generating, and implementing evidence-based strategies that improve practice, policies, and client outcomes. We offer a description of RPPs and elements that facilitate successful utilization. The origin of RPPs, various approaches, and anticipated barriers are discussed. We illustrate some of the challenges and rewards of establishing an RPP using an example of a project that sought to implement a multitiered system of supports among a variety of early childhood education classrooms in a large urban school district.


A planning/leadership team established objectives and used surveys, focus groups, classroom observations, professional development records, and student outcome data to inform decision making.


The district's progress in implementing multitiered system of supports in early childhood and ways in which implementation plans were modified as a result of data-based decision making are described. A number of unexpected obstacles interfered with original plans, requiring significant revisions in our theory of change and new strategies to overcome challenges.


This illustration helps elucidate critical elements of RPPs and highlights their applicability to researchers and practitioners in communication sciences and disorders.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-50
JournalPerspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 26 2019
Externally publishedYes


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