Handbook of Early Childhood Special Education

pp 541-563


Role of Research Syntheses for Identifying Evidence-Based Early Childhood Intervention Practices

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The chapter includes the description of a framework for categorizing four types of studies (group design, single subject design, correlational, case studies) and four types of literature reviews (narrative, summative, systematic, meta-analysis) for conducting research syntheses which focus on the identification of the key characteristics of early childhood intervention practices and their functional or statistical relationship to the behavior the practices are intended to change or improve. Examples of each type of research synthesis of one or more types of studies are described. The framework and examples are the foundation for describing practice-based research syntheses and the yield from these types of literature reviews for identifying the key characteristics, features, elements, active ingredients, etc., of evidence-based early childhood intervention practices. Examples of five different practice-based research syntheses are described to illustrate what can be learned from these types of literature reviews. The chapter concludes with a description of gaps in the knowledge base and the need for additional research syntheses of early childhood intervention practices.


Systematic review Meta-analysis Synthesis Review Children with disabilities Early intervention Early childhood special education Early childhood Special education Children with special needs