Indigenous Learning Lab receives award from the Spencer Foundation

A research team from UW–Madison’s Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS), housed in the School of Education’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Spencer Foundation.

Aydin Bal and Aaron Bird Bear
Aydin Bal (left) and Aaron Bird Bear

The project, titled “Indigenous Learning Lab: Implementation of a culturally responsive behavioral support system to address the racialization of school discipline,” is led by Aydin Bal, a professor in the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, and Aaron Bird Bear, UW–Madison’s inaugural tribal relations director and an alumnus of the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

The Indigenous Learning Lab is a formative intervention study that facilitates and investigates the implementation of a culturally responsive schoolwide behavioral support system at a rural high school in Northern Wisconsin. The new behavioral support system was designed by American Indian students, parents, teachers, community members, and school staff during the 2019–2020 academic year.

While the design phase of the project was funded through the School of Education’s Grand Challenges initiative utilizing a Transform Grant, the Spencer Foundation award will allow the Indigenous Learning Lab to continue to examine the project’s implementation and sustainability through May 2023 in partnership with the Ojibwe tribal government, local school district, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and Wisconsin Indian Education Association.

Learn more about the project, here.