That being said, on the listservs I monitor, practitioners in the trenches often ask "where are the interventions?"
Unfortunately, the review article below, just published in the prestigious APA Journal of Educational Psychology, is not encouraging. If anything, despite the calls for more rigorous educational intervention research, the trend over the last two decades has been towards fewer intervention studies, interventions that are very brief, and few studies on school-age populations.
Furthermore, given the clarion call for "randomized experimental designs" during the current wave of educational reform (NCLB), it is sadly ironic that this review found that:
- "the percentage of total articles based on randomized experiments decreased over the 21-year period in both the educational psychology journals (from 40% in 1983 to 34% in 1995 to 26% in 2004) and AERJ (from 33% to 17% to 4%)."
This is NOT good empirically-based news for implementation of RTI...which I believe is a good idea.
Caveat - the authors did not review school psychology and/or special education journals and indicated (in their article) that they have such a paper in preparation. Hopefully these results will be more encouraging.
Hsieh, P., et al. (2005). Is Educational Intervention Research on the Decline? Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 97, No. 4, 523–529
- The authors examined intervention studies that appeared in 4 educational psychology journals (Cognition & Instruction, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Experimental Education) and the American Educational Research Journal (AERJ) in 1983 and from 1995 to 2004. The majority of studies included adults (age 18 and older) as participants, administered brief (less than 1 day) interventions, assessed intervention effects immediately following the intervention, and did not report treatment integrity. Most studies included multiple outcome measures and exhibited an increase in effect-size reporting from 4% in 1995 to 61% in 2004. The percentage of total articles based on randomized experiments decreased over the 21-year period in both the educational psychology journals (from 40% in 1983 to 34% in 1995 to 26% in 2004) and AERJ (from 33% to 17% to 4%). Limitations of the study and future research issues are discussed.