Building adaptive expertise and practice-based evidence: Applying the implementation stages framework to special education teacher preparation.

Document Type


Publication Date



adaptive expertise, special education, teacher preparation, evidence-based practices


Preparing pre-service special educators to meet classroom demands requires teacher preparation programs to design experiences for students to demonstrate routine expertise, while also building adaptive expertise. In this article, the authors describe a capstone project that meets these needs and prepares pre-service special educators for their role in the development of practice-based evidence. These aims align well with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Professional Standards. To describe this project and how it meets these aims, we used the Implementation Stages framework. Outcomes reflect an increase in pre-service special educators’ ability to research and design usable interventions based on evidence-based practices. Implications for special education teacher preparation programs include the need for faculty to provide instruction in a wide variety of interventions, and to provide channels for the pre-service special educators to disseminate their research within the field.

Publisher Attribution

Teacher Education and Special Education2015, Vol. 38(3) 207 –220 © 2014 Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children

DOI: 10.1177/0888406414551285