Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #419
Future Directions for Research in Precision Teaching
Monday, May 27, 2024
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 108 AB
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Marisol Loza hernandez (University of Nebraska Medical Center: Munroe-Meyer Institute )
CE Instructor: Aoife McTiernan, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: AOIFE MCTIERNAN (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Precision Teaching (PT) has most recently been defined as a system for precisely defining and continuously measuring dimensional features of behavior and analyzing data on the Standard Celeration Chart (SCC), allowing for timely and effective data-based decisions that accelerate behavioral repertoires. The potential for PT to support efficient learning environments presents an opportunity for educators to adopt a well-established system to accelerate student learning, particularly in a post-pandemic era when students have experienced significant learning loss due to extended absences from education during pivotal learning years. This is even more vital for students at risk and in areas of socio-economic disadvantage who experienced the most significant learning loss during this time. The emphasis placed on achieving high frequency performances, or fluency, with pinpointed behaviors aligns well with educators’ goals who are tasked with supporting students to achieve proficiency with literacy and numeracy skills. Although a growing body of literature is emerging that demonstrates positive outcomes associated with PT, there exists a research to practice gap. PT is not used in educational settings to the full extent possible. The purpose of this paper is to present the current evidence for PT in supporting the mastery of academic skills and to discuss the potential that PT has to make an impact in educational settings whilst acknowledging the limits of PT findings to date. Future directions for conducting impactful research in this area are suggested within the context of closing the research to practice gap.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Describe Precision Teaching as it applies to supporting mastery of academic skills; (2) Describe the evidence for PT in the literature to date as well as identifying gaps and areas for development; and (3) Critically evaluate the research to practice gap in PT.
AOIFE MCTIERNAN (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Dr. Aoife Mc Tiernan is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst – Doctoral and Chartered Psychologist. She is the President of the European Association for Behaviour Analysis, current Director of the MSc and PhD in ABA at the University of Galway, and has worked with educational settings and disability services for over fifteen years. Dr. Mc Tiernan has an interest is in the dissemination and integration of behaviour analytic and evidence-based approaches into educational settings. She has a special interest in Precision Teaching and accelerating learning for students at risk and in areas of socio-economic disadvantage, and has a number of publications in this area, including large group studies conducted in educational settings.



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