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Challenges to Response to Intervention (RTI) Models: Equity & Cultural Considerations Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges to Response to Intervention (RTI) Models: Equity & Cultural Considerations 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 alfredo.artiles@asu.edu www.nccrest.org Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University alfredo.artiles@asu.edu www.nccrest.org 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. 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. 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 44% of children in urban contexts are students of color (Zhou, 2003). Disparities in service outcomes across multiple domains, including achievement gaps (Artiles, Trent, & Palmer, 2004; Lee, 2002). Structural differences in opportunity to learn (e.g., teacher quality, funding, professional learning support) Persistence of prejudice and stereotyping connected to historical segregation.

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 na ï ve 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 individuals 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) 1. Target situations that are authentic to the persons routine experiences 2. Work in settings that accurately resemble the individuals sociocultural everyday milieu 3. Align the persons definition of the situation (i.e., experiment conditions and outcomes) with the studys 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). 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 RTIs view of students low performance: Poor instruction v. disability Learning is: Acquisition of skills or knowledge Individual process Promoted by instructional strategies only

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 3. Classroom CultureS 2. The Classroom Culture Whats already there The work that people do together What students and teachers bring with them

19 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. 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 explain the achievement of minority students beyond dichotomies (instruction or child traits) and account for cultural and historical factors? How do we design RTI models that allow us to examine the interactive construction of heterogeneity, difference, and disabilities?

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? How do we know whether the problems (or goals) we pursue in interventions are construed the same way by students and their families? Do these problems or questions have the same meaning and importance in the communities where students come from? (Boesch, 1996).

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

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. 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. 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 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. 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 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

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. 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 alfredo.artiles@asu.edu www.nccrest.org Alfredo J. Artiles Arizona State University alfredo.artiles@asu.edu www.nccrest.org Response to Intervention Community of Practice September 24, 2007


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