ABA Visiting Scholar 2023

The University of Washington Applied Behavior Analysis Visiting Scholar program presents:

Malika Pritchett, PhD, BCBA
"Behavior Analysis & Equity in Public Education: An Abolitionist Approach"


3 BACB, Learning CEUs - (1 Ethics) & 3 Clock Hours

It is increasingly clear that black and brown students encounter damaging learning environments that assault the dignity and humanity every child deserves. Behavior analysts working in schools can be part of the collective endeavor to uphold the rights of students by arranging environmental conditions that nurture growth, accelerate progress, and celebrate each child’s unique and valuable contributions. Behavior analysts in schools are often called to action to address “problem behaviors” that result from problematic contingencies. If behavior analysts fail to address problematic contingencies and focus on the result of these contingencies, they become complicit in perpetuating inequities. Behavior analysts can be of best service to students that are likely to be marginalized and excluded from classroom learning opportunities, if they identify, analyze, and dismantle systems that perpetuate inequities. Integrating the spirit and praxis of abolitionism, abolitionist teaching intervenes at a systemic level to dismantle conditions that perpetuate injustices and create systems that promote freedom-dreaming, thriving, and joy. From an abolitionist view, joy is a directional guide to inclusive well-being. Freedom and liberation depend on designing environments where exposure to new and loving contingencies produces broad shifts, cusps, leading to enhanced quality of life for children and the collective.


Dr. Malika Pritchett is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. Dr. Pritchett received an AS degree from Collin College, a BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Texas Woman's University, a MS in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas, and a PhD in Health Services Research with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas. Dr. Pritchett’s research interests include research ethics, human rights, community-based participatory research, youth violence prevention, and positive behavior supports. Her research investigates oppressive, colonial research practices in the science of applied behavior analysis and the impact these practices have on establishing and perpetuating researcher-participant power imbalances. Dr. Pritchett utilizes a behavioral systems science approach, such as ecobehavioral analyses and interventions, to inform collaborative policies, strategies, and research practices that are interwoven with a commitment to social justice, including racial justice. Dr. Pritchett is a licensed and board certified behavior analyst, her clinical experience spans various human services sectors including private practice, residential institutions, nursing facilities, municipalities, public schools, colleges, and universities.