UW–Madison’s Aydin Bal delivered the keynote address for an online conference at the Centro Universitário Carioca (Unicarioca), in Rio, Brazil, in Dec. 2021.
Bal is a professor in the School of Education’s Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education (RPSE).
Bal’s address, titled “Expansive Learning, Justice, and Joy: Systemic Transformation for Addressing Racial Disparities in Schools,” presents a longitudinal, multi-site formative intervention study implemented with local stakeholders — especially those who have historically been excluded from schools’ decision-making activities — to examine and address racial disparities in special education placement and school discipline.
The intervention Bal discussed aims to form equity-oriented family-school-community-university coalitions and to facilitate democratic knowledge-production and systemic design processes through which local stakeholders design and implement inclusive and transformative school systems that are culturally responsive to the ever-changing needs, resources, interests, and goals of their communities.
Prior to Bal’s keynote address, UW–Madison student Fabiane Bravo, a PhD candidate within the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education, spoke about implementing the Learning Laboratory methodology developed by the School of Education’s Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) research team at the oldest special education institute in South America.
The Learning Lab methodology, which has been implemented in 25 schools nationally and internationally, was utilized to facilitate the collective design of an inclusive curriculum with local stakeholders.
Bravo will join the institute as a faculty member in the next academic year.
Both Bal’s and Bravo’s talks are available via the university’s YouTube channel. Bravo spoke in Portuguese (starting about 1:01:20), while Bal’s talk is in English (starting about 1:24:00) and was translated to Portuguese.