• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


FAQs--about Precision Teaching

Page history last edited by Regina Claypool-Frey 14 years, 3 months ago




Q: So what exactly IS "Precision Teaching"?

A: : Precision Teaching Guiding Principles


1. Focus on Directly Observable Behavior

2. Frequency as a Measure of Performance

3. Use of the Standard Celeration Chart

4. The Learner Knows Best, aka, THE CHILD KNOWS BEST


From:  Precision Teaching: Concept Definition and Guiding Principles

Athabasca University, Psychology 387


The entire tutorial.

Precision Teaching Module,

Module Author: David Polson, Instructional Designer/Technical Advisor: Lyle Grant


Other principles applicable and desirable in Precision Teaching

  1. Self-chart performance frequency daily,
  2. Use standard celeration charts
  3. Separately chart desired and undesired pairs
  4. Aim at fluency
  5. Monitor learning (celeration), and
  6. Teach in more than one channel at once



Lindsley, O.R. ,Ch. 31, p.537-554 : Precise Instructional Design: Guidelines from Precision Teaching. In, Dills, C. R., & Romiszowski, A.J. (1997). Instructional development paradigmsEnglewood Cliffs, N.J. : Educational Technology Publications,



"What is Precision Teaching?" per Ogden Lindsley


...Precision Teaching is adjusting the curricula for each learner to maximize the learning shown on the learner's personal standard celeration chart. The instruction can be by any method or approach. For example, the most effective applications of Precision Teaching have been when it is combined with Direct Instruction (Johnson, 1989, Maloney & Humphrey, 1982). The materials are derived from Direct Instruction and the curricular change decisions, fluency aims and one-minute practice sessions are from Precision Teaching.


The precision comes from making curricula changes based on changes in the weekly learning of each student. The weekly learning changes are seen on standard celeration charts. The frequencies of correct and incorrect responses of each subject are recorded daily on separate standard charts. Because of the normal daily variation in performance frequency, it takes one to two weeks (5 to 10 daily frequencies) to project a learning course and to determine a change in learning. Details of Precision Teaching techniques, timing and charting have been described extensively in previous publications (Binder, 1988; Lindsley, 1990a, 1990b; McGreevy, 1981; Pennypacker, Koenig & Lindsley, 1972; West, Young & Spooner, 1990; White 1986) and in a special issue of Teaching Exceptional Children (spring, 1990), and will not be repeated here..."


Lindsley, O.R. (1991). Precision Teaching's Unique Legacy from B. F. Skinner

Journal of Behavioral Education, 1(2), 253-266



Rick Kubina, Ph.D., BCBA also has kindly provided definitions of Precision Teaching from important references at his  Precision Teaching Blog



For an overview of how PT and fluency can help instruction for children with autism, see.


Fabrizio, M.A. (February and March 2003). A parent's introduction to fluency Parts I and II. The OARacle, Alexandria, VA: The Organization for Autism Research."(PDF format):



An interesting excerpt about "Exceptional Teaching and Precision Teaching"

Google books excerpt from

Emerging Perspectives on Assessment of Exceptional Children,

Randy E. Bennett, Charles A. Maher, Eds. 1986. Haworth Press. ISBN 0866564101. pp 10-12

Published also as v. 2, nos. 2/3, winter/spring 1985/86 of Special Services in the Schools.



Q: What do the acronyms RESAA, REAPS, SLOBS, etc. stand for?


A:  Original list J.W. Eshleman, Ed.D, BCBA 1998, SCListserv post

Bold are those commonly used


Acronym Stands for Reference
ALWAMSI At least we always must select it  
B.F.SKINNER Behavior, Frequency, Standard slope charts,Kid knows best, Induction, N of 1, No observer, Environment,Relationship recording  
CG Confidence, Generativity  
FUN Fun, Understanding, No cheating (1) 116
HINIBU Horrible if not invented by us  
LCS Leaps, Confidence, Stress innoculation (1) 116
MUSIC Multiply, Unique, Specific, Independent, Consequence (1) 116
PATUM Part, Accurate, Think, Understand, Minutes  
PRACTICED Particular, Rapid, Added, Counted, Timed, Informed,Charted, Errorful, Daily  
PRICE Pinpoint, Record, Intervene, Chart, Evaluate  
R/A PS Retention, Application, Performance Standards  
REAPS Retention, Endurance, Application, Performance Standards  - [Haughton]
(1) 116
RESA(A) Retention, Endurance, Stability, Application, (Adduction) (2)
RRPP Reward, Relief, Punish, Penalty  
SAFMEDS Say All Fast Minute Every Day Shuffled  
SLOBS Slow, Loud, One, Big, Simplify (stop SLOBS!) (stop SLOBS!)
SURA Sharp, Unique, Ready, Ambient  
TBRO Teaching By Reward Only  
WINIBU Worse if not altered by us  



(1).$ Graf,S. and Lindsley, O. (2002) Standard Celeration Charting 2002. Youngstown, OH: Graf Implements.

Available at the Behavior Research Company and Behavior Development Solutions


(2) $ Johnson, K.R., Layng, T.V. (1992).

Breaking the structuralist barrier: Literacy and numeracy with fluency.

American Psychologist. 47(11), Nov 1992, 1475-1490.




Q: What are "Jaws", "Crossover", and "Jumps Up" and "Jumps Down" all about?





Q: Okay, it sounds good, but how do I get started?


A: Read the Athabasca Tutorial, and visit FAQs--ABOUT THE STANDARD CELERATION CHART,

to get a feel for how to use the timing and Standard Celeration Chart.


If you are waiting to get the MUST-HAVE TEXTS, take a look at Rick Kubina and Owen White's charting guides.


If you are in the neighborhood for an ABA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE, there is always a workshop on the use of the STANDARD CELERATION CHART, given by experts in the field.


As examples of the kinds of considerations to think about, take a look at


SCListserv Archives – April 1-2, 2002;\"PT 101\" discussion

EXCELLENT response and discussion by the SCListserv members to beginning teaching questions posed by a parent starting to apply PT to an existing Verbal Behavior ABA program


and these Chart shares:


Ben Bronz Academy/The Learning Incentive

Charts shared from 1999-2001



Organization for Research and Learning formerly Fabrizio-Moors Consulting

Examples specific and relevant to children on the autism spectrum:

 Professional Work Examples


For additional reading about Precision Teaching

  • Calkin, A. B. (2005). Precision teaching: The standard celeration charts. The Behavior Analyst Today, 6(4), 207-213. 

  • Lindsley, O. R. (1992). Precision teaching: Discoveries and effects. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25, 51-57. 

  • Lindsley, O. R. (1995). Precision teaching: By teachers for children. Journal of Precision Teaching, 12(2), 9-17. 

  • Potts, L., Eshleman, J. W., & Cooper, J. O. (1993). Ogden R. Lindsley and the Historical Development of Precision Teaching. The Behavior Analyst, 16, 177-189. 

  • White, O. R. (1984) Performance Based Decisions:  When and what to change. In R. P. West and K.R. Young (Eds.), Precision Teaching Instructional Decision Making, Curriculum and Management, and Research. Logan, UT: Department of Special Education, Utah State University. 

  • White, O. R. (1985) Decisions, Decisions. British Columbia Journal of Special Education,9,305-320. 

  • White, O. R. (1986) Precision Teaching -- Precision Learning. Exceptional Children, 52(6), pp. 522-534.



Q: What is a "Chart Parent"... and how do I find one? 


A: One of the great things about the field of Precision Teaching is the friendly tradition of the "Chart Parent", a real, live mentor to help get you started and give you pointers on how to use the SCC and interpret the data.

(Little known fact: The origin of the term "Chart Parent" is attributed to Dr. Steve Graf, who used the term at a 1980 ABA chart share sesssion.) Dr. Pat McGreevy, p. 68, Journal of Precision Teaching, 4(3).

What is a Chart Parent?

[Question and Answer contributed by Dr. Ogden Lindsley, September 2000.]

"Your chart parent first taught you to use the Standard Celeration Chart..."


To find a chart parent, the easiest way is to join the SCListserv, and just post--"

I need a chart parent", and describe what you are doing. Our experience has been that folks are very responsive and helpful. Don't be afraid to say, "Hey, I didn't understand that, can you explain further?".


Another venue to find a Chart Parent is at the International Precision Teaching Conference, where there is some special time set aside for novice charters to get individualized help from an expert charter.

Historical Interest- Chart Parent Tree



Q: What if I am not a teacher or I just want to find a tutor for my child? 

A: Everyone is a teacher :-)and use of Precision Teaching can help to make you a great one, but we know what you mean.



(Some of these folks can also be great to get you going if you feel more comfortable learning how to be a Precision Teacher under more 1:1 guidance.)



DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is presented on an "as is" basis, and does not claim to present definitive information, make recommendation or to represent such official bodies such as the Standard Celeration Society. Users of this site agree that the owner of the site or authors of pages and articles are indemnified against legal liability  


Fair Use Clause

These pages may contain copyrighted (© ) material and is made available under the "fair use" clause for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research, etc. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior general interest in receiving similar information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.