Applying Implementation Science to Literacy Development
Wilson Language Training® (WLT) integrates the tenets and methodologies of implementation science to guide the introduction of literacy interventions in a manner that allows schools, districts, and their students to realize the benefits of the intervention and sustain these benefits over time. Utilizing the relatively new discipline of implementation science, Wilson® collaborates with schools and districts to ensure that all the activities necessary for effective program implementation are thoughtfully planned and put into place during the school year.
The implementation activities that WLT outlines for the district implementation team are described in each COMPASS Plan. The level of detail provided ensures that the purpose is clear and supportable and that all stakeholders understand the development of the literacy skills of their students.
When interventions are introduced, frequently it is presumed that the program or practice is implemented automatically, as if no other activities or processes need to be considered or undertaken. That phenomenon can be restated as wanting it (the intervention) to happen. With the incorporation of implementation science practices into COMPASS plans, the district team is more likely to make it (the intervention) happen, achieving the intended outcome. When faced with the realities of most school districts, successful implementation outcomes should not be assumed any more than successful intervention outcomes are assumed.
WLT does not intend to train the district team to use implementation science. Rather, implementation science practices will be integrated into your district’s plan to improve the outcomes of students using Wilson literacy interventions.
To learn more about how Wilson programs and professional learning incorporate the principles of implementation science, please read:
- Make “It” Happen: Using Implementation Science with Wilson Programs, a Wilson Implementation Network (WIN) monograph.
- The WIN School Profile of Salisbury Elementary School (MA), describing their experiences implementing Fundations®.
- The WIN District Profile of the School District of Indian River County (FL), which describes the district-wide implementation of Fundations. Also watch this PBS story from 2014 in which Fundations is the multisensory program adopted by the district. Wilson’s use of implementation science principles supported the district’s successful implementation of the program.
- The WIN District Profile of Worcester Public Schools (MA), which focuses on the systematic planning of professional learning to align with the gradual rollout of Fundations across the district.
- Advancing School Success Through Leadership Support: Palm Valley Elementary School and Litchfield Elementary School District #79 (AZ), a WIN profile focusing on the critical role of the school and district leadership in providing the necessary supports for successful implementation of Fundations at Palm Valley Elementary.
To learn more about implementation science and its application:
- Watch the video of Barbara Wilson explaining what implementation science is and why it is key for student success.
- Read the white paper by Dr. Michelle Duda and Barbara Wilson on Using Implementation Science to Close the Policy to Practice Gap, published by Literate Nation.
- Read Barbara Wilson’s article regarding implementation science in the International Dyslexia Association’s Examiner Newsletter (February 2015).
- Please visit the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN).
- View the presentation handouts from Barbara Wilson, Dr. Michelle Duda, and other panelists during the 2014 IDA International Conference symposium Making It Happen vs. Hoping It Happens.