Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

School Psychology

First Advisor

Abraham Wandersman

Abstract

The success of an implementation effort depends on the ability for a system to utilize the innovation effectively; the effective usage of an innovation can be determined by monitoring for program integrity and fidelity, and assessing the degree to which the program implementation matches the intended plan (Fixsen, Blasé, Horner, & Sugai 2007). The current study focuses on implementation issues with the recent innovation of Response to Intervention (RTI) in the education system. Individual case studies were conducted for four schools within a large Southeastern school district, using a multiple-case study analysis framework. Additional data on the implementation practices of RTI were collected with the use of an Innovation Configuration Map (IC Map) based on the core components of RTI as determined by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and developed specifically for the school district in the study. IC Maps are used to inform and describe the change process through the use of "word-picture descriptions" of what the use of an innovation can look like (Hall & Hord, 2006); this study hypothesized that an IC Map would be able to help school administrators identify areas of RTI implementation strengths and weaknesses within a school, which could be used to improve the overall implementation. Standardized test scores on state administered assessments were also compared to look for differences between schools designated as high or low fidelity users by the IC Map. The results from the study indicated a potential use for IC Maps to evaluate the current state of RTI implementation in elementary schools. Several "Assertions" are presented in the discussion of the study, leading to recommendations for school administrators and implementation researchers.

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