Precision Teaching, also known as precision monitoring or precision planning, is a systematic, time-effective and cost-effective form of assessment through teaching. It can be used by educators with children and young people who are struggling with acquiring or maintaining certain skills. Although it can work in all areas that can be broken down into clear, concrete objectives, it works best for skills that are ‘rote learnt’, for example: phonics, sight words, shapes, colours, handwriting, number bonds, times tables, etc. It can be used with any age group, from EYFS right up to secondary school, and because it can fit into an (approximately) 7-minute daily slot, it is hopefully an achievable method of teaching/assessment for school staff.
So… how does it work?
Well, it involves a monitoring system which evaluates the effectiveness of what you are teaching a child. So, if you have a student in Key Stage 2 who is struggling with their 4 times tables, Precision Teaching would involve creating a very specific target for this child and this problem, and encourage the use of teaching methods which are appropriate for that child- what works best for them? Through quick daily practice, Precision Teaching allows you to teach and assess progress simultaneously.
Where did it come from?
Precision teaching was introduced to the U.K. from the U.S. in the 1970s and it gained a strong following in the West Midlands, in particular, by Raybould and Solity (1982) in the Walsall local authority. Because of its strong evidence base, the British Psychological Society (Division of Educational and Child Psychology) recommended it as a form of assessment through teaching in 1999, and a number of educational psychologists in mainstream and special educational needs literature have advocated for the approach (for example, Muncey & Williams, 1981; Raybould & Solity, 1982, 1988a, 1988b; Solity,1991; Kessissoglou & Farrell, 1995) (Chiesa et al. 2000).
How can I find out more?
For more information on why Precision Teaching should be considered for use in schools, keep an eye out for the next post: Why should we be using Precision Teaching?
You can also access our course on Precision Teaching here: Precision Teaching – Step-by-Step online guide for staff (training4schools.com)
- Chiesa, Mecca & Robertson, Ailie. (2000). Precision Teaching and Fluency Training: Making maths easier for pupils and teachers. Educational Psychology in Practice. 16. 297-310. 10.1080/713666088.
- Raybould, T., & Solity, J. (1982). Teaching with precision. Special Education: forward trends, 9(2), 9-13.