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What is Precision Teaching?

"Precision Teaching (PT) is a system for precisely defining and continuously measuring dimensional features of behavior and analyzing behavioral data on the SCC to make timely and effective data-based decisions to accelerate behavioral repertoires."

-Evans, Bulla, & Kieta 2021

Not sure what all this means? That's okay!

What you need to know if you're new to this is: Precision Teaching is a system for measurement and data-based decision making. When all of the elements of this system are in place, Precision Teaching can powerfully propel learning gains and behavior change.

Amy Evans, co-founder of Octave, describes each of the critical features of Precision Teaching in this short video.
Interested in reading the whole article? Download it here.

Why Does it Matter?

Precision Teachers have been producing wildly impressive results across domains and with all types of learners for decades, yet too many people who have committed their careers to teaching and problem-solving have never.even.heard of this game-changing approach to helping people thrive.

 

And we can't stand it.

At Octave, we're committed to sharing everything we know about Precision Teaching, so that you can discover the remarkable benefits of this data-driven approach and witness accelerated learning like never before.

If you're a teacher, therapist, or coach, then you know that one-size-fits-all interventions only get you so far. Extraordinary results come from precise tailoring of your methods to the individual needs of each of your unique "learners".

Adding a little precision to each and every aspect of your process produces a cumulative effect, where the insights you need to deliver targeted interventions practically jump out at you from your Standard Celeration Charts.

Now here's the kicker - precise measurement actually changes everything. It changes how you see the world and how you understand your subject matter. The measurement practices used by Precision Teachers have led to many discoveries by both researchers and practitioners about what's actually effective–and what isn't.

That's why Precision Teachers often approach learning challenges by isolating tool skills and helping learners practice the basics to high rates. You'll see Precision Teachers do this often, but it's not just because we like timers and going fast! It's because Precision Teachers have consistently, for decades, been producing remarkable results with skill acquisition by breaking skills down and adding lots of practice.

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That's also why Precision Teachers seem to speak a different language. Precision Teachers describe the strength of a skill by both its accuracy and its response rate because both of these features of behavior are critical to success. We describe skills with movement cycles to make sure we can accurately count them. And we pay close attention to the inputs and outputs (i.e., learning channels) of behaviors because these features drastically impact relative response rates. We define mastery with a specific set of measurable outcomes that go well beyond your basic mastery criteria, and we measure for those outcomes directly. All of these quirks of Precision Teachers have reason and purpose.

It's mostly about pragmatism. Do what works, and throw out what doesn't. Dig deep into the data to find ways to change it. Use language that makes the process more clear. Once you find something that matters, make sure to measure for it. And you must stay humble throughout this process - when you're paying close attention, you will inevitably find ways that you're falling short.

So it's also a bit about humility. One of the guiding principles of Precision Teaching is that the learner is always right. When you lean into this mantra and allow it to guide your teaching, coaching, or problem-solving with respect to concerning behavior patterns, you center your learners in all of your decisions. This removes shaming and blaming; instead, it brings hope to even the most challenging cases. The progress made under these conditions can be transformational for everyone involved.

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Learn Precision Teaching with Octave

Embrace Precision Teaching today and become a trailblazer in your field. Build your skills with measurement and data analysis, and discover a new way of practicing–one of confidence, creativity, and renewed purpose.

Whether you're feeling like dipping your toes in, or jumping all the way in, Octave is here to guide you!

 

Here are a number of upcoming opportunities to learn Precision Teaching:

Octave PT Events
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Project Blue™ is our flagship cohort program for aspiring Precision Teachers. 

The program includes self-paced online courses, a live workshop series, live office hours and activities, and dedicated coaching and mentorship.

Enrollment for Project Blue is closed.
Fill out this form to get on the waiting list and be the first to know when the next cohort is scheduled!
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Amy will be leading a live online workshop for behavior analysts October 27!

Practical Pinpointing is designed for BCBAs looking to get more precise with their language when defining behaviors, skills, and goals. We will tackle the top 5 questions asked in Project Blue during the Pinpointing phase.

Previously only available to Project Blue cohort members, this event is now open to the public – email info@octavetraining.com for more information.

 
Just looking for some more resources on Precision Teaching and the Standard Celeration Chart? Here are a few additional options for you. 

Amy Evans, co-founder of Octave, walks you through how to read data on the chart in this short video.
Take a look at these additional quick tutorials on how to chart various instructional arrangements on the SCC:
How to Chart Naturalistic Teaching
How to Chart Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT)
How to Chart Fluency Based Instruction
Are you looking to explore more about why the SCC is so important in Precision Teaching? Check out this snippet from one of our courses for a quick walk through of some of the reasons the SCC is such a valuable tool.
As you can see, we care a lot about disseminating information about the SCC and Precision Teaching. Check back here for more free resources as we update this page, or reach out to us with your specific needs and questions about this important topic!
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