Improving Education Science and Practice:
The Role of Replication

The theme of the SREE Spring 2014 Conference, Improving Education Science and Practice: The Role of Replication, highlights the important role of replication in building robust theories in education science and providing guidance for practitioners. When interventions work over time, in different contexts, and with different groups of students, researchers may construct robust theories that generalize beyond a specific study. The causal effects of educational interventions that replicate across different studies may inspire practitioners to use experimental evidence to enhance student success.

Yet the promise of replication remains an elusive goal in education. Social scientists are likely to employ different methods and embrace divergent views about the importance of replication relative to other research goals. Communication among education researchers and disciplinary scholars is necessary to yield convergent and useful lessons for designing research focused on replication.

The SREE Spring 2014 Conference highlights the role of replication in building scientific theories and scaffolding improved practices in education and child development, medicine, and social services. Symposia, panels, papers, and posters that address the conditions under which causal relations are demonstrated to be replicable: (a) over time, (b) in different contexts, and (c) among diverse groups of students and teachers, will offer a strong fit with the conference theme.

Research questions of interest include:

  1. How do the goals and frameworks for replication vary across social science disciplines?
  2. What role does replication play in improving education, child welfare, medicine, criminal justice and social policy in the United States, as well as internationally?
  3. How may different methodologies, such as experiments, quasi-experiments, and meta-analyses, enable researchers to identify causal mechanisms that are generalizable?
  4. What design parameters influence the replication of experimental and quasi-experimental studies?
  5. How do the characteristics of study participants and program contexts influence the replication, or non­replication, of treatment effects?
  6. How may researchers collaborate with practitioners to successfully transition replications from laboratory settings to classrooms and schools?
  7. When are controlled efficacy trials of promising interventions likely to replicate in effectiveness trials, or trials at scale?
  8. How may practitioners and researchers learn from follow-up studies that fail to replicate published research findings?
  9. How do domestic and international funding agencies assess whether the results of promising educational innovations and practices have demonstrated replicable findings?


  • Early Learning and Education
  • Social and Emotional Interventions in Educational Settings
  • Instruction and Student Achievement
  • Understanding the Effects of Education Policies
  • Education and Social Inequality
  • Evaluating International Interventions
  • Research Methods