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This is the companion website for the second edition of What Really Works in Special and Inclusive Education: Using Evidence-based Teaching Strategies.

In this new, second edition, David Mitchell continues to break new ground with revised and updated strategies based on evidence from the most recent studies in the field. From the myriad of related research available, only those studies with genuine potential for improving the practices of teachers and schools have been included, with the aim of facilitating high-quality learning and social outcomes for all learners in schools.

Updates to this new edition include:

  • Four new chapters, on response to intervention, universal design for learning, inter-agency cooperation, as well as one on the Finnish education system.
  • Over 350 new references.
  • References to recent developments in neuroscience.

Introductory video

Video introduction from the author, David Mitchell

In this introductory video, the author, David Mitchell, talks about the updates to the new 2nd edition of What Really Works, and explains his view that education is lagging behind other sectors in terms of human advancement, such as medicine, farming and technology, and that his book is an example of how we should be utilizing evidence to redress this balance.

What you will find on this website

In each chapter, you are invited to rate the extent to which you and your school employ the various strategies described in the book. This is followed by relevant YouTube, website sources and journal links, which will supplement and illustrate the material of each chapter. Next, there are multiple-choice quizzes, with answers, to enable you to check on your understanding of the material.

Structure of the website

Each chapter has the following sections:

  • Self Evaluation

    For each of the chapters describing a teaching strategy, you are invited to rate the extent to which you employ the strategy. Alternatively, if you are not a classroom teacher, you could rate a teacher with whom you are familiar. The above questionnaire leads into the more detailed descriptions of the strategies and how they can be rated.

  • YouTube YouTube

    Links to appropriate YouTube clips are provided.

  • websites Websites

    Links to appropriate websites, supplementing those included in the text, are provided.

  • journalsJournal links

    These refer you to a selection of relevant articles published in Taylor and Francis journals.

  • quiz Quiz

    Each chapter contains a short quiz, which serves the purpose of formative assessment to enable you to test your understanding of the content of the chapter.

What instructors are saying about What Really Works

What Really Works goes beyond evidence and provides a suite of strategies for special needs students that have the highest probability of being successful. Mitchell emphases the decision-making skills of teachers to choose between these strategies, he bases the strategies on an explicit model of learning and teaching, and emphasizes that many of the learning and domain knowledge is teachable to all students. This is the book I wish I had written, synthesising an enormous literature focused on special needs students. It is robust, it is readable, and it is your right-hand resource. A stunner of a book. - Professor John Hattie, University of Melbourne, Author of Visible Learning

A timely and useful resource for those committed to adopting an inclusive pedagogical approach, this book presents a compendium of evidence-based strategies to support inclusive education. It provides up-to-date information on effective strategies at individual, school and multidisciplinary levels to augment teachers’ repertoire of pedagogical options consistent with their own philosophy, professional wisdom and craft knowledge. - Professor Lani Florian, University of Edinburgh, Editor of the SAGE Handbook of Special Education, second edition

David Mitchell’s book is an excellent reader and reference book for teachers, students and researchers of education. Summarizing large amounts of up-to-date research findings it lays out an evidence base for the most effective practices for teaching students with special educational needs.  Interestingly, most of the effective approaches can be used by all teachers – a good reminder of the inclusive idea that all children benefit from improving the quality of teaching and learning. - Professor Hannu Savolainen, University of Eastern Finland

David Mitchell has been true to his promise to ‘follow the evidence’ and the result is a compilation of ‘what really works’ that deserves to have widespread influence on theory, research and professional practice. The book is scholarly, practical and accessible and it definitely sharpened my understanding of the contemporary evidence on many topics in special and inclusive education. I hope, for students’ sake, that the book reaches a very wide and varied audience. - Emeritus Professor Tony Shaddock, University of Canberra

This wide-ranging book looks at evidence-based practical aspects of what really works in special and inclusive education. The additional new chapters in the second edition treat the leading topics in the field (e.g., universal design for learning and response to intervention) in such a clear and to-the-point manner that makes them truly accessible to professionals. Having included this book as one of the core readings for my undergraduate and graduate programmes in several cultures, I can comfortably assert that this is a must-read book for all teachers-to-be and their trainers. - Associate Professor Filiz Polat, Bahcesehir University, Turkey

It is a great challenge to put special education and inclusion into practice. This text certainly helps us achieve this educational goal, with the provision of an excellent and evidence-based collection of good ideas, effective strategies and comprehensive programs. They are scientific, scholarly, practical and informative for teachers, education researchers and all those professionals who support the learning of students with special education needs and promote the culture of inclusion in various settings of schooling. - Associate Professor Ming Tak Hue, Hong Kong Institute of Education

What Really Works (second edition) by Dr David Mitchell, is a text that all teachers can rely on, with its excellent summary of methods and practices that have proven to be successful, not only with students with special needs, but with all young people. - Professor Ragnar Thygesen, Agder University, Norway

This systematic review by Mitchell of evidence-based methods of teaching is an excellent resource book for the library of special and general educators. - Emeritus Professor Gunnar Stangvik, The Arctic University of Norway

This book gives useful and important suggestions to build up the reasonable accommodations for children with educational needs and collaborations with related organizations and schools in Japan. - Professor Toshiro Ochiai, Hiroshima University

Thanks to Lawrence Walker of the University of Canterbury for advice on the development of this website and to the Routledge web team for designing its format. –David Mitchell