Inclusive future making: building a culturally responsive behavioral support system at an urban middle school with local stakeholders
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CitationBal, A., Afacan, K., Clardy, T., & Çakır, H. I. (2021). Inclusive Future Making: Building a Culturally Responsive Behavioral Support System at an Urban Middle School with Local Stakeholders. Cognition and Instruction, 1-31.
This article presents a formative intervention study, called Learning Lab that facilitated the collective design of a culturally responsive behavioral support system at an urban middle school in the United States. Learning Lab united parents, teachers, support staff, education leaders, and researchers, specifically those who have been historically excluded from schools’ problem-solving activities to address an inner contradiction that they face—racial disproportionality in school discipline. Learning Lab members excavated and analyzed the school’s discipline system with its activities and disturbances and designed a new school-wide behavioral support system that is responsive to diverse experiences, perspectives, practices, and goals of their school community. A qualitative analysis of the Learning Lab process was conducted related to the development of the new system. Members examined outcomes in the existing discipline system, identified daily manifestations of the inner contradiction and collectively designed a culturally responsive system. The study showed the “how” of a systemic design and transformation process that helped develop a deeper understanding of educational change as a form of collective learning. The study demonstrated how a secondary artifact (system mapping) might facilitate movement from problem-definition to envisioning new possibilities. Given the inability of top-down education policies to impact sustained systemic transformation in schools, Learning Lab provides an ecologically valid collective knowledge-production and systemic design process that shows the possibilities of transforming marginalizing systems from the ground-up and collectively envisioning schools as spaces of solidarity, emancipation, and innovation.