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Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University

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Presentation on theme: "Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University "— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges to Response to Intervention (RTI) Models: Equity & Cultural Considerations
Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University Response to Intervention Community of Practice September 24, 2007

2 Purpose 1. Foreground Equity in learning opportunities and outcomes.
2. Identify problematic assumptions about culture and learning and challenges to RTI models. 3. Outline next steps to address these challenges.

3 Why focus on Equity? A significant proportion of struggling learners and students in sped come from ethnic and linguistic minority communities. Historical legacies. Demographic trends. Proposed solutions are based on limited visions of systemic change.

4 Foregrounding Equity: History & Demographics
Structural differences in opportunity to learn (e.g., teacher quality, funding, professional learning support) 44% of children in urban contexts are students of color (Zhou, 2003). Persistence of prejudice and stereotyping connected to historical segregation. Disparities in service outcomes across multiple domains, including achievement gaps (Artiles, Trent, & Palmer, 2004; Lee, 2002).

5 Foregrounding Equity: Visions of Systemic Change
There is considerable consensus that considerably more is known about effective instruction than is implemented…research-based practices are not broadly implemented (Donovan & Cross, 2002). Expose educators to specialized knowledge at pre- and in-service levels Oversimplified view of educators’ work and a naïve understanding of school change.

6 Cultural Construction of Disabilities (Harry & Klingner, 2006)
Teacher hiring and placement practices OTL in GenEd, referral and assessment practices, eligibility decisions, work with families. Institutional bias, racism, and the elusive quest for equity in sped

7 Voices from the Classroom adapted from Wright & Choi, 2005
Teachers reported confusion in their schools about what Prop 203 allows with regard to L1 support. Practices vary widely from school to school.  Some teachers described a climate of fear in their schools when it comes to providing L1 assistance to students who need it. Voices from the Classroom: A Statewide Survey of Experienced Third-Grade ELL Teachers on the Impact of Language and High-Stakes Testing Policies in Arizona (Wright & Choi, 2005). Released by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at ASU Proposition 203- a one year transition period within a “full immersion” model for learning English “Children who are English learners shall be educated through Sheltered English Immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year. Section English Language Education Questioned a representative sample of 40 3rd grade ELL teachers in urban, rural, and reservation schools in several AZ districts about educational programs implemented since NCLB, AZ LEARNS (state school accountability program), and Prop 203 Language support: providing assistance to a student in his or her native language to help them understand content taught in English. Many administrators issued school policies that are more restrictive than Prop 203 itself, and state education leaders have also contributed to the false notion that state law forbids all use of students' native language(s).

8 Foregrounding Equity: Visions of Systemic Change
Transcend purely technical analyses and solutions. Account for the interplay of research-policy-practice. Rely on a sound model of professional learning to infuse innovations.

9 Purpose  Foreground Equity in learning opportunities and outcomes.
2. Identify problematic assumptions about culture and learning and challenges to RTI models. 3. Outline next steps to address these challenges.

10 Problematic Assumptions about Culture & Learning
Knowledge base. Design of instructional and behavioral interventions. The role of culture in learning.

11 Assumptions & Challenges: The Current Knowledge Base
Problems with the use of a culture-less knowledge base (Artiles, Trent, & Kuan, 1997) in the implementation of research based practices. Of the 180 intervention studies of students with LD that were synthesized by Swanson et al (1999:78), the majority did not report ethnicity … Findings disaggregated by ethnicity were neither provided nor possible to calculate (Donovan & Cross, 2002, p. 330).

12 Assumptions & Challenges: The Current Knowledge Base
… analysis for this report of the effect of race/ethnicity on special education placement or outcomes was made more difficult because many research studies did not specify the racial/ethnic composition of the sample or had too few minority children to measure effects by race/ethnicity (Donovan & Cross, 2002, p. 381).

13 Design of Interventions: The Question of Ecological Validity
Ecological validity is defined as “the extent to which behavior sampled in one setting can be taken as characteristic of an individual’s cognitive processes in a range of other settings” (Cole, 1996, p. 222). To what extent are RTI interventions designed to meet ecologically valid criteria?

14 Ecological Validity: 3 Conditions (Cole, 1996)
2. Work in settings that accurately resemble the individual’s sociocultural everyday milieu 1. Target situations that are authentic to the person’s routine experiences 3. Align the person’s definition of the situation (i.e., experiment conditions and outcomes) with the study’s definition.

15 Assumptions & Challenges: Ecological Validity of Interventions
RTI models assume that all instruction should be evidence-based, but Instructional methods work in relation to the socio-cultural contexts in which they are implemented (Artiles, 2002; Gee, 2001). … evidence derived in what contexts? under what conditions? with what kinds of samples? Variations in intervention, program, and implementation across schools can affect performance of students.

16 Assumptions & Challenges: Culture and its Role in Learning
Focus on Student & Professional Learning Learning is: Acquisition of skills or knowledge Individual process Promoted by instructional strategies only RTI’s view of students’ low performance: Poor instruction v. disability

17 Assumptions & Challenges: Professional learning and competence
Teachers should be familiar with the beliefs, values, cultural practices, discourse styles, and other features of students’ lives that may have an impact on classroom participation and success and be prepared to use this information in designing instruction (Donovan & Cross, 2002, p. 373). Top down model Exposure to knowledge Culture is not relevant: Teacher proof curriculum and PD

18 1. Cultures in the Classroom
What’s already there The work that people do together What students and teachers bring with them Cultures in the classroom v. Classroom cultures culturally meaningful task criteria teacher-student shared understandings of purpose of tasks & activities participation frameworks in classroom discourse school ideologies about low-income, fractured families, racial minority students: discipline, “smart,” “caring,” “involved,” “respectful.”

19 Assumptions about Culture & Learning
Concluding Assumptions about Culture & Learning Cultureless knowledge base Future research must account for how contextual contingencies and variability across contexts challenge ecological validity. Intervention designs should be based on a theory of culture in student and professional learning.

20 Emerging Questions & Sociocultural Challenges (Artiles, 2005)
Equity Issues How do we design RTI models that allow us to examine the interactive construction of heterogeneity, difference, and disabilities? How do we explain the achievement of minority students beyond dichotomies (instruction or child traits) and account for cultural and historical factors?

21 Emerging Questions & Sociocultural Challenges (Artiles, 2005)
Equity Issues How do we design implementation fidelity systems that account for the complex and ideologically charged contexts of schools? Do these problems or questions have the same meaning and importance in the communities where students come from? (Boesch, 1996). How do we know whether the “problems” (or goals) we pursue in interventions are construed the same way by students and their families? Legacies of culture-blindness and culture-muteness.

22 Emerging Questions & Sociocultural Challenges (Artiles, 2005)
Assumptions About the Role of Culture in Learning What models of professional learning that are mindful of culture and equity can be used to build capacity in RTI efforts? How can the current knowledge base be adapted for use today, while we invest in the generation of a knowledge base that’s mindful of culture?

23 Emerging Questions & Sociocultural Challenges (Artiles, 2005)
Assumptions About the Role of Culture in Learning How do RTI literacy practices interface with communities’ literacy practices? (Artiles, 2002; Gee, 1999). When designing RTI interventions, how can researchers sample situations and tasks that account for the cultural nature of learning? (Goodnow, 2002). How can educators use their understanding of the experiences lived by students in the design of interventions? (Boesch, 1996).

24 Purpose  Foreground Equity in learning opportunities and outcomes.
 Identify problematic assumptions about culture and learning and challenges to RTI models. 3. Outline next steps to address these challenges.

25 Beginning to Address these Challenges
1. Broaden the unit of analysis in RTI models. 2. Build disproportionality analysis into RTI models. 3. Infuse culture and language considerations in RTI models.

26 Broaden the Unit of Analysis
Multiple levels of analysis - District, school, classroom More Complex Views of the Curriculum in Tier 1 Beyond isolated reading skills. Other dimensions of the curriculum: Students’ funds of knowledge Hidden curriculum (interaction rules, views of competence, learning and knowledge) Social organization of learning. NCCRESt tools District rubric, school tool.

27 RTI Primary Focus: Equity Include Disproportionality Analysis
NCCRESt resources: Maps and other data based resources. Use of tools for TA and PD activities.

28 Culture & Language Considerations
Create tools for Implementation of interventions within tiers Movement across tiers that compel school personnel to be mindful of language and cultural differences. NCCRESt additional resources: Briefs, exemplars, rubric, and tools <www.nccrest.org>

29 Purpose  Foreground Equity in learning opportunities and outcomes.
 Identify problematic assumptions about culture and learning and challenges to RTI models.  Outline next steps to address these challenges.

30 Challenges to Response to Intervention (RTI) Models: Equity & Cultural Considerations
Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University Response to Intervention Community of Practice September 24, 2007


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