Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS)

Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) is an educational initiative grounded in local to global justice theory with the ultimate goal of educational systems change.  Using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and various types of data collection, local schools work with members of their communities to identify tensions within schools, pose new solutions, and test their effectiveness. Dr. Aydin Bal developed an inclusive problem-solving activity called Learning Lab that brings together diverse voices of educational professionals, families, students, and community members at the same table.

From Intervention to Innovation
CRPBIS contributes to advancing specific paradigm shifts as vehicles of systemic change both in the literature and in the applied context of schools. First, researchers situate a key move from locating sources of expertise and relevant knowledge solely in “experts” (school administrators & teachers, university professors) to recognizing and elevating the tremendous wealth of knowledge and insight that students, families, and community members bring to the problem-solving endeavor. Next, the CRPBIS team uses recent and historic school data to  intentionally focus and shift scrutiny of racialized student academic and behavioral outcomes away from deficit-model/blaming individuals and families to locating problems of practice within the larger school system. CRPBIS advances the notion that all American public schools, as they currently exist as products of settler colonialism and endemic American racism, must acknowledge myriad historical injustices such as Indian Removal, Slavery, and their compounded generational repercusssions that still affect youth alive today.

Since its inception in 2011, CRPBIS has worked closely with leadership of Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), Sun Prairie Area School District, Northwoods High School (pseudonym), and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to create systemic transformations in school discipline systems. The project aims to create a more just, socially and culturally responsive school discipline system in which school stakeholders critically engage in a dialogue to address behavioral outcome disparities and marginalization of culturally and linguistically diverse students and families.  

Learning Lab  has been applied in six Wisconsin schools. Currently, we are engaging in Indigenous Learning Lab in Northwoods High School  in northern Wisconsin. See Learning Lab tab for details.

Grand Challenges, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WIEA

From Intervention to Innovation

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