Practice information complements strong research evidence (see Evidence) to provide a high level of confidence in the effectiveness of an approach.

​Have other schools used this approach and achieved positive outcomes?
​Promising practices
Prompt questions

Have other schools used this approach and achieved positive outcomes?

The practical experience of schools using an approach in real-world conditions provides important information about an approach.

Information from schools' practice can either strengthen the research evidence or it can reveal challenges in real-world conditions and cast doubt on the effectiveness of an approach.

Ideally an anti-bullying approach has evidence from both research and real-world school practice.

In reality, the practice-based information about an approach may be all that is available to schools while research is underway.

Promising practices

The term 'promising practice' is used to describe approaches and programs that have shown positive outcomes in schools, but are yet to be researched in carefully managed conditions.

It is possible that many features in a school could have contributed to the positive outcomes, not just the anti-bullying approach. Only well-designed research (See Evidence) can help unravel these many features and indicate that a specific approach is effective, and likely to be effective across other school settings.

It is desirable that promising practices in schools are then subjected to careful testing through well-designed research. The concept of 'promising practice' is not an alternative to research.

Promising practices have certain features:

  • a contemporary understanding of bullying (see Definition)
  • sound theory that draws from existing knowledge about bullying (see Theory)
  • a description of the 'logic' behind the approach that includes a rationale for the specific aims, resources and activities that make up the approach, an explanation of how the approach leads to the expected outcome, and what specific measure/s will indicate this outcome (see Theory)
  • data from schools that have implemented the approach as designed
  • positive outcomes from research using surveys (opinion) and subjective measures (attitude change, etc.)
  • positive early outcomes in research trials, but insufficient time for long-term outcomes to be assessed
  • measured changes in student behaviour (or other appropriate outcomes) in a number of schools (see Real results).

Prompt questions for Practice

Key question: Have other schools used this approach and achieved positive outcomes?

To ask about the approach

  • Is the research evidence complemented by information from schools that have implemented the approach in real-world situations?
  • If the research evidence for the approach is limited, what information (particularly student data) is available to suggest it is a 'promising practice'?
  • If there is no research evidence, are the Definition and Theory which underpin the approach well explained and robust?

To ask about your school

  • Are the schools that have successfully implemented this approach similar to our school?
  • Will the school be able to implement the approach in a way similar to the way it was conducted in other schools that have achieved positive outcomes?
  • If there is limited research evidence, have we carefully considered the questions under Definition and Theory?

Use the STEPS form for schools (PDF, 651KB) to record your answers.