Supporting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Explicit Instruction (Standard)

Janet Twyman


A presentation by Janet Twyman delivered at the 2022 Michigan Autism Conference


Effective instruction focuses on personalized learning goals, is explicit yet flexible, and takes advantage of the numerous technologies available to improve learning. A successful teacher provides such instruction, and also understands that students have not only different learning histories, but different histories and backgrounds altogether. Students represent with a vast diversity, whether they are typical learners or those deemed as “special needs.” How do educators, therapists, or practitioners, as behavior analysts, recognize, work with, and support equity and inclusion across diverse learners? While the 2020 Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts requires training in culturally responsive service delivery (BACB, 2020), there is limited research (or theory) in behavior analysis on best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and culturally relevant service (CRS; e.g., assessment, treatment, consultation). This presentation will examine the current literature base in CRS and offer practical, evidenced-based practices incorporating explicit instruction to support equity, inclusion, and learning across diverse learners.

About the Speaker

Janet is an education innovator, thought leader, and founder of BLAST (a learning sciences company focusing on learning programs, education metrics, and training to educational organizations). As a preschool and elementary teacher, school principal and administrator, university professor, instructional designer, virtual learning architect, and consultant, she has collaborated with education organizations in over 75 states and countries, including speaking about technologies for diverse learners and settings at the United Nations. Her 50+ publications address instructional design, virtual learning and technology, and systems to produce meaningful differences in learners’ lives. Currently an Associate Prof. of Pediatrics at the UMass Chan Medical School, she formerly served as Director of Innovation & Technology for the U.S. Dept. of Ed. funded Center on Innovations in Learning, and as V.P. of Instructional Development, Research, & Implementation at Headsprout (whose early reading programs have garnered several national and international awards). She has served as the President of ABAI and is an ABAI Fellow. For her distinguished contributions to education she has received both the Wing Award for Evidence-based Education and the APA Div. 25 Fred Keller Behavioral Education Award.

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