In his conversation in the May 2021 issue of Education Leadership® (EL®) with fellow scholar Matthew A. Kraft, influential researcher John Hattie highlights a key recent transformation in K–12 educators’ roles.


“Over the past decade, teachers and school leaders have  begun seeing research and evidence  as a core part of their thinking and  doing,” he states. “This is a major change.”


That change, of course, is partly the result of the emphasis on research-based practice in  recent federal education law. The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act is said to employ the term “scientifically based research” more than 100 times.  And the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most recent iteration of the guiding national education law,  retained some of that spirit, establishing a more nuanced, graduated  system for gauging “evidence-based” interventions.


But it’s likely that educators’ own evolving interests in inquiry and improvement, abetted by the growth of resources and networks available on the internet, have also played a big role in the profession’s more research-oriented turn. In a sense, we are all researchers now— or at least determined consumers  of research.  


As many educators have discovered, however, that is not a straightforward pursuit. As critical as it is in today’s schools, education research can be complex, contradictory, gap-filled, biased, and even just plain wrong or misleading.  Using it constructively requires some groundwork and care. 


This, we hope, is the aim of the readings included in this certificate program, taken from the May 2021 issue of Education Leadership® (EL®).  The official theme of the issue is “From Research to Practice,” which could otherwise be subtitled, “How to Be a Savvy Interpreter of Education Research.”  

Many of the included articles explore the inherent complexities of education research today and look at ways educators and school leaders can  become more critical and resourceful consumers of the evidence  that’s available to them.  

Such investigative strategies will likely be critical in the coming months as schools seek to recover and learn from this paradigm-altering school year.  


1West, M. R. (2016, February 5). From evidence-based programs to an evidence-based system: Opportunities under the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Brookings Institution.

5 Additional Hours!

The certificate course allows you to earn 5 additional hours of professional development by adding the certificate course to your annual conference registration.

Course Objectives

Through this certificate program, participants will be able to...

  • Gain confidence in how to access education research and evidence.
  • Strengthen their educational practice through evidence-based research.
  • Implement evidence-based strategies to better serve students in their schools or classrooms.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Welcome

    • Course Objectives

    • FAQs

    • Before We Begin

  • 2

    Assignment 1

    • Activity 1.1 - Read: "What Can We Learn from COVID-Era Instruction?" by John Hattie

    • Activity 1.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 3

    Assignment 2

    • Activity 2.1 - Read: "Zombie Ideas in Education" by Bryan Goodwin

    • Activity 2.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 2.3 - Reflection

  • 4

    Assignment 3

    • Activity 3.1 - Read: "Let's Get Critical" by Alex Shevrin Venet & Addison Duane

    • Activity 3.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 3.3 - Reflection

  • 5

    Assignment 4

    • Activity 4.1 - Read: "Innovating from the Ground Up" by T. Philip Nichols

    • Activity 4.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 4.3 - Reflection

  • 6

    Assignment 5

    • Activity 5.1 - Read: "Generating Better Evidence on Ed Tech" by Emily Barton & Dan Brown

    • Activity 5.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 7

    Assignment 6

    • Activity 6.1 - Read: "Asking the Right Research Questions" by Nora Gordon & Carrie Conaway

    • Activity 6.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 6.3 - Reflection

  • 8

    Assignment 7

    • Activity 7.1 - Read: "What Is Research, Anyway?" by Douglas Reeves

    • Activity 7.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 9

    Assignment 8

    • Activity 8.1 - Read: "So You Want to Get Serious About Evidence-Based Practice" by Frederick M. Hess

    • Activity 8.2 - Knowledge Check

  • 10

    Assignment 9

    • Activity 9.1 - Read: "The Sciences of Reading Instruction" by Rachael Gabriel

    • Activity 9.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 9.3 - Reflection

  • 11

    Assignment 10

    • Activity 10.1 - Read: "The Obvious Path to Better Professional Development" by Mike Schmoker

    • Activity 10.2 - Knowledge Check

    • Activity 10.3 - Reflection

  • 12


    • Before You Go

    • Final Reflection & Survey

Forgot to add the certificate course to your annual conference registration?

Call the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-933-2723.


  • Can the course be accessed via phone or tablet?

    The course platform is completely responsive, so you may use any device of your choice.

  • How is learning assessed?

    This course utilizes a combination of Knowledge Check quizzes and written assignments.

  • How are assignments submitted?

    Assignments are uploaded directly onto the certificate platform.

  • Is there a final exam?

    No; there is no cumulative exam or summative assessment. Certificate requirements are met by completing each assignment, (reading/viewing and corresponding activity).

  • What is the deadline for completing the certificate course?

    All assignments should be completed by September 30, 2021, when the course will close.

Limited Availablity!

Course begins June 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

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