Classroom full of students sitting at their desks with a teacher at the blackboard

Our evidence base

Dr Keely Harper-Hill explains the different stages of research when developing prescriptive support programs, as well as the need for teachers to consider the purpose of research projects.

inclusionED is the result of research with input from: 

  • teachers
  • members of school leadership teams
  • professionals who are allied to education (such as therapists) 
  • education policymakers
  • parents/carers
  • students. 

Teachers and other professionals working in schools want to employ evidence-informed practices in their classrooms, but finding these practices can be difficult. In preparing inclusionED, educators emphatically told us that they needed to trust the evidence behind any sources of professional learning. 

The research behind inclusionED

The research that underpins inclusionED, undergoes a thorough review process. The research teams contributing to inclusionED are from universities across Australia, and are working with on-the-ground partners to address the research questions of greatest priority to students, their parents/carers, teachers, and schools.

Some of the research on inclusionED investigates the use of specific approaches and programs in schools. Results may be measured in terms of education outcomes for students, or they may be based on teachers' experience using the approaches or programs. 

Other research findings require extrapolation to classroom practice. Our researchers work to do this in a way that is efficient, meaningful, and practical for educators. We welcome feedback on our efforts.

Meeting the needs of a range of learners

The teachers who participated in the design of inclusionED asked for support to meet the needs of a range of learners – not only students on the autism spectrum. 

Researchers are keen not to overstate or generalise their findings inappropriately. So, while the research on inclusionED is primarily focused on students on the autism spectrum, where possible, findings and resources support teachers to meet the needs of students who may or may not have a diagnosis of autism, but who share some of the needs of students on the spectrum.