The "Wicked Problem" of Implementing Evidence based Practice in Special and Inclusive Education: A Sociocultural Analysis
2020, The Author(s). In the field of special and inclusive education, using research to inform decisions about practice and policy has been reflected in the field's efforts to identify and use evidence-based practices (EBP) as a gold standard for the profession. However, there has been increasing acknowledgement of the "wicked problem" of implementation. Fixsen and his colleagues describe wicked problems as 'those that are difficult to define and fight back when you try to solve them' (Fixsen, Blase, Metz, & Van Dyke, 2013, p. 218). Since the time of Marx (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) it has been noted by ecological observers that powerful stakeholders and features of the existing system will deter attempts to change the system. The implication of this ecological view is the 'wicked problem' of non- implementation of EBP may be seen more as a consequence of the social, organisational and material conditions that operate in school settings, rather than the existing research focus and dominant discourse which tends to examine the deficits in skills and knowledge or lack of commitment of special education practitioners to implement EBP in special and inclusive settings.