Aydin Bal

Aydin Bal
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW · Department of Rehabilitation Psychology & Special Education

PhD

About

67
Publications
27,887
Reads
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1,152
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on the interplay between culture and behavioral problems through the study of social-historical-spatial constructions of deviance. I have worked with historically marginalized communities from the United States, Turkey, the Russian Federation, Syria, and Sudan in schools, hospitals, and prisons. I have developed the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports framework and the Learning Lab methodology for transforming systems with local stakeholders (e.g., students, families, educators, advocates, civic organization and policy makers). I am leading local and international formative intervention studies to design culturally responsive education and health systems through Learning Labs.
Additional affiliations
September 2009 - May 2017
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2009 - July 2017
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2002 - May 2009
Arizona State University
Position
  • Instructor

Publications

Publications (67)
Article
Full-text available
Neither legislative demands for evidence-based practices nor a focus on experimental designs for educational interventions has ameliorated the disparate educational opportunities and outcomes for youth from nondominant culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Recent initiatives to increase the rigor of intervention research in special edu...
Article
American Indian students continue to experience marginalization in settler-colonial school systems in the United States. American Indian students receive disciplinary punishment more frequently and harshly than white peers. Overrepresentation of American Indian students in school discipline is a byproduct of a long history of oppressive settler-col...
Article
Twice exceptional (2e) students are students who are both gifted and have a disability. At the intersection of exceptionality and race, twice exceptional students from racially minoritized communities may experience behavioral difficulties in schools. In this article, we provide information for educators as well as school and district administrator...
Article
In the United States, school disciple has been racialized. Youth from racially minoritized backgrounds receive exclusionary discipline more frequently and severely for more subjective reasons such as disrespect, excessive noise, and dress code violation in U.S. schools. The study presents how an urban school community in Wisconsin engaged in inclus...
Article
This double symposium brings together activity-theoretical formative intervention research conducted in six continents. The aim is to illuminate and examine the common threads, important differences, and new challenges of formative intervention studies to address "wicked problems" in different cultural, political, and economic contexts. Formative i...
Article
Racial disproportionality in school discipline is an enduring systemic problem whose patterns change from one context to another. In order to develop systemic solutions that are responsive to local contexts, school stakeholders’ collective, agentic actions toward systemic changes are essential. Utilizing a participatory systemic design process led...
Article
In this study, an examination of the reading interventions applied to students with intellectual disabilities in the context of Lev Vygotsky's Cultural-Historical Activity Theory is presented. The studies identified in the literature were examined in terms of subject, artifacts, object, rules, community, division of labor and outcomes. In the study...
Article
Students from racially minoritized backgrounds have been disproportionately subject to exclusionary school discipline in the United States. Utilizing cultural-historical activity theory and the formative intervention methodology, we conducted a yearlong formative intervention, Learning Lab, in an elementary school with significant racial disproport...
Article
In the U.S. school systems, Native American students receive harsher and more frequent school discipline than White counterparts. Exclusionary discipline may result in adverse academic, social, and life outcomes. There is an urgent need for creating an inclusive, equity-oriented learning environment where Native American students’ identities, well-...
Article
This article presents a formative intervention study, called Learning Lab that facilitated the collective design of a culturally responsive behavioral support system at an urban middle school in the United States. Learning Lab united parents, teachers, support staff, education leaders, and researchers, specifically those who have been historically...
Article
Background: In the United States, students of color are more likely to receive disciplinary exclusion compared with their White peers. The racial disproportionality in exclusionary school discipline (e.g., office discipline referrals and suspension) marginalizes students from nondominant communities and further aggravates inequalities in academic,...
Article
Students placed in special education programs for emotional and behavioral disorders with emotional disturbance (ED) identification have academic outcomes that lag both students in regular and special education. This issue is especially important for youth attending urban schools. Although prior research has examined students identified as ED, litt...
Article
Research on teaching students with disabilities has historically been dominated by behaviorist and cognitive theories that privilege the individual as the unit of analysis (Conway & Artiles, 2005). Behaviorist and Cognitive theories are particularly dominant in special education research in the United States. The first attempts to educate people wi...
Article
Full-text available
Drawn from interdisciplinary perspectives of special education, critical geography, and education policy, in this study, we examined the spatial patterns of residential areas, school attendance zones, and school discipline rates of an urbanizing school district in Wisconsin to understand the construction of spatial “Other.” We measured the city’s d...
Article
Full-text available
Racial disproportionality in special education is a symptom of larger social justice problems in a racially stratified society. Despite the favorable expectation of the effects of culture-free, universal and objective "evidence-based" interventions in serving students from nondominant groups, overrepresentation of students of color in special educa...
Presentation
The American Psychological Association (APA) Webinar is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYD2VhjI-Kk&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR0bybNohMyXZmGxNyc-HwmdurTRpdtsVcaROWD7vyVV_qfltJ-GMwbJZoM
Article
Full-text available
Historically, students from racially minoritized communities receive exclusionary disciplinary actions more frequently and severely in the United States. Researchers have recommended that schoolwide behavioral interventions implemented to address racial disproportionality need to be culturally responsive to local school contexts. Using the theory o...
Article
Full-text available
Racial minority youth are disproportionally removed from their learning environment due to school discipline and placed in special education for emotional disturbance. These disparities continue to trouble families, educators, and policy makers, particularly within urban schools. Yet, there is a paucity of research on how behavioral outcome dispari...
Article
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Research conducted in collaboration with practitioners has the potential to transform the relationship between research and practice by embedding the research process in the contexts of schools and communities. Collaborative research is well suited to improve inclusive education, because inclusive education reform is situated in local contexts. In...
Article
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Youth from racially minoritized communities disproportionately receive exclusionary school discipline more severely and frequently. The racialization of school discipline has been linked to long-term deleterious impacts on students’ academic and life outcomes. In this article, we present a formative intervention, Learning Lab that addressed racial...
Article
Full-text available
School choice has become one of the most controversial issues in education. However, little is known about how parents of children with disabilities chose schools. The present article includes an international systematic literature review of research on the factors influencing the decisions of parents of children with disabilities when selecting sc...
Article
Full-text available
The underrepresentation of Black male students identified with learning disabilities (LD) in higher education is a symptom of a larger social injustice, the racialization of educational opportunities and outcomes in the United States. We provided a critical review of the literature to examine the structural and social barriers facing Black college...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS), the first framework to operationalize cultural responsiveness in the context of positive behavioral interventions and supports in the United States (Bal 2011). To develop the CRPBIS framework, I first conducted a systematic review of literature. The...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents the underlying theory and development of the culturally responsive positive behavioral interventions and supports (CRPBIS) framework that is the first framework to operationalize cultural responsiveness in the context of PBIS. Youth from nondominant communities face enduring disparities in educational opportunities and outcome...
Article
Full-text available
Early childhood education is critical as children learn essential motor, cognitive, and social skills. Positive behavior interventions and supports is an evidence-based, proactive multitier systems of support to prevent and adress behavioral problems in schools. The purpose of this article is to explore the implementation of SWPBIS in early childho...
Article
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The present article examines an enduring educational inequality- nondominant students’ disproportionate representation in special education programs. From a Marxist historical materialist perspective, racial disproportionality forms a systemic tension that offers a significant opportunity to deeply examine and transform school systems. I first prov...
Article
Full-text available
Youth from nondominant racial communities have been disproportionately subjected to exclusionary disciplinary actions for less serious and more subjective incidents in the United States. This racial disproportionality in school discipline is associated with negative academic and social outcomes, further exacerbating the historical marginalization o...
Research
Full-text available
This brief presents the development and use of the interactive data maps from the Culturally Responsive Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) Project. In close collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the CRPBIS Data Maps were developed as a tool for understanding and addressing behavioral outcome dispariti...
Research
Full-text available
This brief is about building reciprocal, authentic, and productive family-school partnership with the CRPBIS framework. The CRPBIS framework aims at re-mediating school cultures that reproduce behavioral outcome disparities and marginalization of nondominant students and families (Bal, 2011).
Chapter
This chapter outlines the cultural-historical context that informs the depth and breadth of the construction of difference based on race, class, language, and ability in relation to multicultural education in the United States today. The chapter fi rst highlights the history of multicultural movement from the early twentieth century to the present....
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter outlines the cultural-historical context that informs the depth and breadth of the construction of difference based on race, class, language, and ability in relation to multicultural education in the United States today. The chapter first highlights the history of multicultural movement from the early twentieth century to the present....
Article
Full-text available
This article was bestowed the 2017 AERA Review of Research Award. The purpose of this chapter is to contribute a cultural–historical analytical perspective on disability and its intersections. We assume that disability is socially, historically, and spatially constructed. This standpoint enables us to understand and disrupt disparities in educati...
Research
Full-text available
This Brief examines the critical role of addressing and supporting behavior and socialization in schools as educators, students, families, schools, and communities embrace the waves of diversity that surge through our schools and institutional systems. Diversity is a vital resource for systemic transformation. The Brief presents the features of PBI...
Book
This book analyses the experiences of multicultural education in nine very different international settings uncovering insights from a vast variety of educational contexts. Taking a multi-critical approach in reporting and discussing problems faced by increasingly multicultural and multilingual societies the nine case studies reflect radically diff...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter outlines the cultural-historical context that informs the depth and breadth of the construction of difference based on race, class, language and ability and multicultural education in the United States today. It first highlights the history of multicultural movement from the early twentieth century to the present. The authors examine d...
Article
Full-text available
Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (CRPBIS) is a statewide research project designed to renovate behavioral support systems to become more inclusive, positive, and supportive. CRPBIS uses an innovative methodology called Learning Lab, which provides a research-based process to bring together local stakeholders and...
Article
Full-text available
The enduring existence of disproportionate representation of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in special education programs and disciplinary practices creates a double bind for educators, educational leaders, and families. Disproportionality is an adaptive systemic issue that is not under any entity’s control; thus, i...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we report on an ethnographic study of figured worlds of resettlement and identities that Muslim refugee youth from the Russian Federation coconstructed in an urban school at the Southwestern U.S. border. In the school, multiple cultural-historical discourses came together within a glocal context: refugee families, a global Islamic...
Article
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A practice-based theory of identity was used in this study to explore the cultural-historical context of an urban charter school in which a group of newly arrived Muslim Turk refugee students’ academic identities were collectively formed. The school, located in the Southwestern United States, was founded by a global Islamist movement. Ethnographic...
Article
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The disproportionate representation of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in special education programs is a complex issue that has long troubled practitioners, educational leaders, and researchers. This article reports on a mixed-method collaborative case analysis that examined local patterns of disproportionality in a...
Article
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The purpose of the present research review is to identify effective, high quality school-based interventions for immigrant students with disabilities or academic and behavioral problems. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to synthesize international research studies. Initial and criteria-based selection processes yielded six interv...
Article
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Children identified with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders (HFASD) or Asperger Syndrome are often characterized as lacking social-interactional abilities. However, these individuals demonstrate a variety of social-interactional strengths in their daily life that may not be acknowledged in education research and utilized in school settings....
Article
Full-text available
We examined the risk of disability identification associated with individual and school variables. The sample included 18,000 students in 39 schools of an urban K-12 school system. Descriptive analysis showed racial minority risk varied across 7 disability categories, with males and students from low-income backgrounds at highest risk in most disab...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers and practitioners have struggled to promote optimal academic, behavioral, and postschool outcomes for historically marginalized youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. While there is a growing body of evidence-based interventions in special education, the extent to which these interventions are culturally responsiv...
Chapter
Full-text available
Little research has been conducted regarding the disproportionate representation of minority learners in programs for students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD). To date, the majority of the disproportionality literature examines multiple eligibility categories, most frequently the high incidence disabilities of Mild Intellectual Disabilit...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
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The paper presents the first framework to theorize and operationalize cultural responsiveness in the context of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. The CRPBIS framework offers the Learning Lab methodology as the operational definition of cultural responsiveness. Learning Lab is the first formative intervention in U.S. schools.
Article
Full-text available
The construct of culture has been largely invisible in the research and long-standing debates in the learning disabilities (LD) field, such as those pertaining to the definition of LD and how research knowledge is used in local settings. When used, the idea of culture tends to be defined as unrelated to LD and studied as restricted to individual/gr...
Article
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The emergence of Response to Intervention (RTI) anticipates a different future for all students, particularly learners from racial minority backgrounds and students with disabilities. RTI is being widely adopted in school districts as a viable alternative to enhance learning opportunities; hence, some education scholars argue it promises a much-nee...
Thesis
Full-text available
Each year tens of thousands of refugee children from all over the world come to U.S. schools with their unique life histories and academic and psychological strengths and needs. Learner identities provide information about refugee students' behaviors, motivations, emotions, and interpretations in the cultural worlds of U.S. schools. The concept of...
Article
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The reading achievement of 398 incarcerated male juvenile offenders was measured at three long-term correctional facilities in three distinct regions of the U.S. Participants were assessed in the areas of word identification, word attack, and comprehension. Results were analyzed by age, ethnicity, and special education status. Overall, reading achi...
Article
The study investigated the emergence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in child and adolescent survivors in Turkey three years after the 1999 Marmara Earthquake, with consideration of the severity of exposure and the survivors' gender and age. A representative sample of 293 young earthquake survivors (152 female and 141 male between...
Article
Full-text available
Minority student disproportionate representation in special education has been debated and (increasingly) studied in the United States for the past 40 years. The purpose of this article is to place this problem in the larger arena of equity studies related to difference in educational practice and propose a comparative model to study it. A first st...
Article
Full-text available
This study identified post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom clusters in Turkish children and adolescents who experienced the 1999 Marmara Earthquake, which was classified as one of the world's six deadliest earthquakes in the 20th century. Two hundred ninety three children and adolescents (152 females and 141 males between the ages of 8 and...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
The goal of Tikuyendadi (“Let’s go Together” in Malawi’s national language, Chichewa) is to learn from and contribute to government, school, family, community, and disability rights movement efforts in Malawi during the COVID pandemic to support students with disabilities and provide equal, inclusive, and transformative education for all.
Project
Indigenous Learning Lab is a longitudinal systemic transformation project. The project addresses the longstanding disproportionality in school discipline that an American Indian community as a political minority group continually experiences in schools in the United States. The goal of Indigenous Learning Lab is collectively creating positive, inclusive, and supportive behavioral systems for all students and adults. Indigenous Learning Lab utilizes histories, practices, goals, and agencies of American Indian students, families, and community members. Indigenous Learning Lab incorporates Indigenous epistemologies into the collective decision-making and design processes.
Project
This is an ethnographic study with the following objectives: (1) to examine the behavioral difficulties that Syrian refugee students experience in Turkish schools; and (2) to explore the challenges and possibilities for implementing culturally responsive PBIS (CRPBIS) in Turkey in collaboration with refugee families.