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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

What is Precision Teaching?

Ogden R. Lindsley worked with B.F. Skinner in the 1960’s to apply reinforcement schedules, behavior shaping, discrimination learning paradigms, stimulus fading, and other principles and procedures derived from laboratory research to issues in educational settings. In the research setting, Skinner had concluded that the rate or frequency of response (i.e. instances per given period of time) was the most accurate and useful form of data. However, when the principles of learning (i.e. ABA) were being applied in the classroom setting, behaviorists began using percent correct instead of rate. Lindsley identified this is an issue and developed Precision Teaching which is a measurement and decision-making framework used to maximize teaching efficacy. At the core of precision teaching is the Standard Celeration Chart which is a logarithmic graph used to chart behavior frequency or rate. This standardized graph is extremely useful because data on multiple behaviors can be recorded on the same graph which can allow us to compare trends in learning. It also allows us to set aims (i.e. goals) and evaluate progress towards goals on a daily basis. There are specific decision rules which allow us to analyze progress toward a goal and make programmatic changes in a timely manner.

Whereas many of the other interventions discussed focus mostly on acquisition of skills, Precision Teaching focuses mostly on fluency of skills. Fluency is an extremely important component of learning because the more fluently we’re able to use a skill, the more likely we are to use that skill across time (maintenance) and settings (generalization). For more information, check out the resources below!

Upcoming Events Related to Precision Teaching:
April 18-19, 2011: 2 Day Precision Teaching Training

Addition Sites Related to Precision Teaching:
Precision Teaching: Measuring and Attaining Exemplary Academic Achievement

Precision Teaching Links

Precision Teaching and Direct Instruction: Measurably superior instructional technology in schools

Autism Teaching Tools: Fluency/Precision Teaching


  1. Rick K says:

    This is a really nice, informative blog entry, well done!

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