Response to intervention viewed through the lens of adoption of innovation
MetadataShow full item record
The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in 2004 states that a local education agency (LEA) may use a process that determines whether a child responds to scientific, research-based intervention as part of the evaluation procedures to identify the child as having a specific learning disability and as eligible to receive special education services. One such process that LEAs are using is response to intervention (RTI). Typically, RTI has been conceptualized and implemented as a multitiered prevention and intervention instructional support system for struggling learners. The implementation of RTI requires practitioners’ knowledge and skill in the planning, development, and execution of its innovative, scientifically based research methods. Rogers’s (2003) diffusion of innovation model served as the framework for this study. Rogers’s 5 main steps in the innovation-decision process were examined: (a) knowledge, (b) persuasion, (c) decision, (d) implementation, and (e) confirmation. Through this lens, how the innovation-decision process influences educators and schools to adopt or not adopt multitiered instruction defined as RTI was examined. The study explored whether practitioners did adopt RTI; whether all 5 stages were implemented by the educators; and, if so, whether they were sequenced. The study also examined whether adoption occurred and all aspects of RTI were being adhered to. Despite an abundance of research and writings on the pedagogical implications related to RTI, largely due to recent federal policy, there is a paucity of research on RTI regarding the organizational complexity related to implementing RTI. This lack of inquiry of organizational processes and effects of RTI affects both general and special educators, and consequently students of all ages.