In this month’s episode of Expert Instruction: The Teach by Design Podcast, we're diving further into the research and practices surrounding vulnerable decisions points (VDPs). Over in our Teach by Design article, we shared how you can find the VDPs contributing to the disproportionate outcomes you see in your data, but why do we even focus on VDPs in decision making in the first place? Joining us to help answer that question are Drs. María Reina Santiago-Rosario and Sean Austin.
In her research, María focuses on racial equity in school discipline, measuring teacher expectations of students, and supporting students who receive special education services as they transition from middle to high school. She understands what it takes to implement system-level changes and how to guide teams in classroom behavior management and strategic planning for equity in discipline.
In his work, Sean focuses on positive behavior support, implementation science, and professional development. Before completing his PhD, Sean worked for several years as a school psychologist supporting students with behavioral needs.
Speaking of Sean’s PhD, his dissertation revealed some interesting things about the common points in the school day that are most vulnerable to biased decisions. We talked to him about that! Then, we asked him and María what makes a VDP such a good starting point and how do we handle those challenging conversations to create the self-awareness necessary before launching into problem solving?
For more information about the resources shared in this episode, check out these links:
- Don’t Discipline Hangry – a Teach by Design article with more information about unconscious bias and VDPs.
- Ep. 6: Implicit Bias – an Expert Instruction episode with Dr. Erik Girvan talking about implicit bias and its affect on classroom decisions.
- Using Discipline Data within SWPBIS to Identify and Address Disproportionality: A Guide for School Teams – a guide from The Center on PBIS on how to data to address equity in your school
- Registration for the 2023 NWPBIS Conference