Precision teaching

Precision teaching: Evidence based approach to effective teaching and learning:

As the word suggests ‘precision’ means ‘the quality of being clear or exact.’ Thus, the title implies the teaching which is clear and exact. This could mean that all teaching (all subjects) could be specific and exact. My experience with Precision teaching has just begun. Thanks to my educational psychologist for introducing me to it! At the knowledge level, I was aware that it is a measuring tool with well-defined objectives and assist in effective decision making. I gained a lot of understanding through the book ‘Response to intervention and Precision teaching’ by Kent Johnson and Elizabeth M. Street (a must read!). However, I was quite sceptical on its implementation. Therefore, I plan to dirty my hands and indulge in its implementation. I intend to update you on my implementation on regular basis and would welcome responses to make it a success.

For those who might not be aware of precision teaching, here is the background. Precision teaching is a way to streamline your teaching practices to bring the desired results. The outcome is a result of specific objectives to be taught. The objectives should be observable and quantified. The observable behaviour of the learner includes ‘what’ the teacher plans to teach, ‘how’ and ‘when’ to teach. And quantification is to quantify the outcomes rather than going by a feeling factor and avoid statements like ‘I think this child is reading well!’ As a rationale teacher, I will quantify the child’s performance in timed activities like 5 correct responses on 5 what based questions. The instructor or facilitator needs to sit down and pen what they exactly want to teach the learners and plan the output in their head which is quantified!

I will be discussing the first step in this blog which is to create a SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE. I began with creating specific objectives for my students wherein I answered the following questions for myself: what will my learners do? Where will they perform the tasks, will they perform it individually or in a group setting? What will be the timeline for the objective to be accomplished, that is in a month’s time or a week’s time? 

To elaborate on it, let me give you an example. I met teachers who wrote the following goal for their learners at Tier 2 (a small group of students who need to be given specific practice in a skill like reading) “The child answers questions based on the listening of an age-appropriate story/poem/song independently with 100 % accuracy.” Now let us explore what is included in this goal and what went amiss. The instructor has written what will the learner do (answer questions), where will they perform (independently). However, they missed the kinds of questions to be answered, the number of questions and the source for the songs. What will my students give as an end product should be clear. Thus I could modify the same goal as follows: The child answers 5 what based questions after listening to the song from karadi tale (played thrice) independently with 100% accuracy in the small group setting. 

By creating the specific goals, I am clear on what I expect my learners to perform and attain mastery in. Once the output is clear in my head, I will execute it better and will be able to monitor the progress and take data-based decisions for further intervention (Response to intervention model!) I am open to more one to one conversation on it! I followed the first step and created the goal plan for my learners to be implemented in the class. So did you take that first step for your learners? I could help you take that first step as your personal journey!