What does it mean for a curriculum to be evidence-based?
An evidence-based curriculum is defined as a curriculum that has shown, through rigorous evaluation and empirical studies, to significantly affect participants when correctly implemented. There are many advantages to using and implementing evidence-based parenting curricula. Research and evaluation have documented the significant benefits of using evidence-based curricula:
Evidence-Based Curricula Meet Rigorous Criteria: Evidence-based curricula must meet specific criteria, including empirical standards, to be certified as an evidence-based program. Empirical standards can be defined as demonstrating efficacy through rigorous randomized control trials and peer-reviewed evaluations such as publication. Meeting empirical standards indicates that a curriculum has produced positive results, has been reviewed by field experts, and is endorsed by a federal agency or research organization. Because certified evidence-based curricula have gone through various evaluations and empirical studies, such programs are more likely to produce positive impacts than non-evidence-based curricula. In addition, use of evidence-based curricula reduces the possibility of negative or unintended effects
Guidelines for Choosing the “Right” Program: Evidence-based curricula provide specific guidelines about their purpose and target audience as well as guidelines for proper implementation based on empirical evidence and evaluation. Access to empirical information can help practitioners make informed decisions about which curriculum best meets the needs and goals of specific populations.
For more information about evidence-based curricula or implementing your parenting program with fidelity please contact Chelsea Hamilton, Parent Education Coordinator for Clackamas County Children Youth and Families Division: firstname.lastname@example.org.