Expert Instruction Podcast
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Mar 21, 2023

Ep. 27: Neutralizing Vulnerable Decision Points

Once you know when you’re more likely to make inequitable decisions, what do you do about it? Neutralizing routines are your one way to disrupt those vulnerable moments.

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In this episode of Expert Instruction: The Teach by Design Podcast, we’re continuing the conversation from last month’s episode about vulnerable decision points (VDP). Drs. Maria Reina Santiago-Rosaria and Sean Austin are back to share how we can disrupt our decision making in those moments.

Today we’re talking about neutralizing routines: brief, step-by-step processes to make our quick decisions more deliberate. During our conversation, we recognized the overlaps between these routines and those we explored in previous episodes related to de-escalation. While both require us to become more present in the moment, neutralizing routines are specifically designed to disrupt our implicit bias—those stereotypes we carry around without even knowing it.

María is a researcher at the University of Oregon who 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.

Sean is also a researcher at the University of Oregon who focuses on positive behavior support, implementation science, and professional development.

The two of them share how they’ve seen these routines implemented, how to know when those routines are working, and how all of this serves the larger goal of making your discipline decisions more equitable for all students.

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Megan Cave


Megan Cave

Megan Cave is a member of the PBISApps Marketing and Communication team. She is the writer behind the user manuals, scripted video tutorials, and news articles for PBISApps. She also writes a monthly article for Teach by Design and contributes to its accompanying Expert Instruction podcast episode. Megan has completed four half marathons – three of which happened unintentionally – and in all likelihood, will run another in the future.

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