Home Educational Research Five Sources of Evidence-Based Research

Five Sources of Evidence-Based Research

by Miguel Guhlin
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Working as a classroom teacher or instructional leader? Then you’ll love this easy reference collection of evidence-based strategies. Finding evidence-based research you can trust is hard. In this blog entry, you will see some resources that expand your knowledge of what works in the classroom.

Before we jump into that list of five sources, let’s review what “evidence-based” means.

What Is Evidence-Based?

Since you’ve no doubt seen the term “evidence-based” around, let’s dig into it a bit. Does objective evidence inform your selection of a specific method or strategy? If so, then it is evidence-based. Some may describe it as data-based, research-based, and/or scientifically-based (source). When used in a consistent manner, evidence-based strategies support greater student learning and achievement.

Explore the importance of identifying and selecting evidence-based practices in this online module, one of three you can work through. The list of modules includes:

Give these a whirl. Speaking of these modules, this brings us to the first resource I wanted to share with you.

IRIS Center

The IRIS Center includes a wide variety of resources. Besides the evidence-based practices series of the three modules, it offers much more.


Here you can find a wealth of research summaries on a variety of strategies and interventions. The IRIS Center connects the level of effectiveness, as well as age groups, with each strategy. This makes their list of research summaries an invaluable aid for instructional leaders. Topics covered include:

  • Assessments
  • Behavior and Classroom Management
  • Content Instruction
  • Diversity
  • Early Intervention/Early Childhood
  • Learning Strategies
  • Mathematics
  • Reading, Literacy, and Language Arts
  • School Improvement/Leadership
  • Transition

Whether you are an administrator or coach, this site offers you a repository of amazing content that you can share with teachers who may be unsure about a strategy. And you can get FREE certification on various topics relevant to classroom instruction.

Access the IRIS Center.

The What Works Clearinghouse

If you need to learn more about literacy, math, or emergent bilinguals, then the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) and their research is for you.


WWC reviews the existing research on different programs, products, and practices. It also reviews policies in education. Their goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. They seek to answer the question “What works in education?” through a focus on high-quality research results (source).

Access the What Works Clearinghouse.

Learning Policy Institute

The Learning Policy Institute takes a slightly different approach to providing innovative content through their collection of videos. Some of their topics include:

  • Aligning School Practices with the Science of Learning
  • Creating Safe and Inclusive Schools
  • How Learning Happens
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Strategies and Practices to Advance Deeper Learning

These are powerful, well-researched videos that will get you leading and teaching in innovative ways.

Access the Learning Policy Institute Videos.

Rand Corporation

If you are interested in what the research says about early childhood, assessment, accountability, school leadership, teacher effectiveness, and how technology and real life impact student outcomes, then you need to take a good look at the Rand Corporation. They offer a series of blogs that focus on education and literacy.


Here are just a few of their blogs that are especially relevant for instructional leaders:

  • Effects of Executive Development Program and Aligned Coaching for School Principals
  • Pathways to Instructional Leadership: Implementation and Outcomes from from a Job-Embedded School Leader Training Program
  • School Leaders’ Role in Selecting and Supporting Teachers’ use of Instructional Materials
  • Supporting Principals to Lead on the Selection and Use of Instructional Materials in the Classroom

The Rand Corporation also offers a wealth of research on current topics such as COVID-19 and the Academic Achievement Gap.

Access the Rand Corporation Research archives.

Corwin’s Visible Learning Meta X

Oft-mentioned, Corwin’s amazing Visible Learning Meta X database is incredible. Not only can you see all the “influences” at once, you can also see the underlying research studies and a detailed glossary.


You can also see influences by domain:

  • Student: Factors relating to background, beliefs, and physical influences.
  • Home: Factors relating to family resources, structure, and environment.
  • School: Factors relating to school type, pre-school, school composition, and leadership.

Access the Visible Learning Meta X database.

Being able to carefully examine what the research says about the best instructional strategies to use when teaching a particular activity, content area, or skill is critical for all teachers and leaders today. These five resources will provide you all the background information you need to make the best decisions for your students.

If you’d like more information about research-based education, be sure to check out our online, self-paced courses focused around instructional strategies and higher student achievement.

Get a PDF version of the flyer below.

Feature Image Source

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

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