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  • Writer's pictureBrad

How we know if an initiative or program for kids works

Release date: August 29, 2022

As parents, teachers, and direct service providers, we are bombarded with products and services that claim to help kids. Many of them are quite expensive. We want the best for the children and adolescents in our lives, but resources are scarce. My guest to help all of us understand how we can discern whether an app, a curriculum, a program, etc., might actually work is Eric Hedberg. Eric is an Accredited Professional Statistician and a Senior Associate at Abt Associates, a global public policy research firm and think tank. Eric has published extensively on statistical methods and on evaluations of educational programs. My first exposure to Eric was watching a video of him explaining statistics to group of non-researchers. I remember appreciating the clarity and humor of his explanation, which is why I approached him for this episode. More information about Eric and a link to the What Works Clearinghouse, which Eric and I discuss in the episode, can be found below.

Biography of Eric Hedberg

Eric Christopher (E. C.) Hedberg earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2009. Currently, Hedberg is a Senior Associate at Abt Associates, an Accredited Professional Statistician® by the American Statistical Association, and a Sociologist.

Most known for his work on evaluation design, including estimating and publishing important experimental design parameters, Hedberg is broadly an interdisciplinary quantitative methodologist with sociological training. Hedberg’s research interests include areas of methodology related to evaluation and analysis of ego-centric networks, and relatedly, the substantive areas of education, criminology, and social capital. Hedberg's current areas of research include investigating the design of evaluations in education and criminology, in addition to measuring social capital associations through mixed models of social network contextual effects.

Hedberg has authored or co-authored over 30 methodology-focused papers and books that have appeared in education, medical, and criminological journals, while also contributing to numerous reports and presentations at major research conferences such as APPAM, AERA, SREE, ASA, and ISNA. He has authored a SAGE “little green” book on statistical power analysis. Much of his research is funded by grants from federal and foundational organizations. To see more of Hedberg's work, visit Google Scholar.


Eric Hedberg

What Works Clearinghouse




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