This page includes pubished chapters and articles that may or may not still be available from original sources. We provide them here for the personal use of scholars, students, and others interested in behavioral fluency and related topics.
Barrett, B. H. (1979).
Communitization and the measured message of normal behavior.
In R. York & E. Edgar (Eds), Teaching the Severely Handicapped, Vol 4. Columbus, OH: Special Press, 301-318.
This classic paper is no longer widely available and we're happy to be able to include it here. The late Beatrice Barrett was one of the most articulate advocates of frequency-based instruction and the application of behavior science in education. This chapter presents a data set that has been reprinted and presented hundreds of times since, showing how count per minute measures distinguish among levels of competence, whereas percent correct cannot.
Barrett, B. H., Beck, R., Binder, C., et. al (1991).
The Right to Effective Education.
The Behavior Analyst, 14, 79-82.
We recommend this paper to every educational professional, parent, and anyone else who wants to know about the things research says that education should provide. It is a thorough and still-relevant review of what we know from research that should be included in any educational program, including measurement of and methods for building fluency.
Binder, C. (1977-1982).
The Data-sharing Newsletter 1977-1982.
Waltham, MA: Behavior Prosthesis Laboratory, Walter E. Fernald State School.
Republished in 2005 by The Fluency Project, Inc. Originally published as a mimeographed meeting notice and report, this set of 38 newsletters captures many of the early discoveries and developments in Precision Teaching during the period in which it was written. It began as a communication tool for a handful of people in the Boston area who met monthly for "chart-sharing sessions" using the standard celeration chart, it eventually expanded to more than 400 subscribers around North America. Full of ideas that are as important today as they were then.
Binder, C. (1987, September).
Computing "Fluency" and Productivity.
Managing End-User Computing, 4-5.
This one-pager succinctly describes the elements of a learning strategy for building fluent use of computers.
Binder, C. (1990, September).
Closing the Confidence Gap.
Fluency is fun, produces confidence, and brings on a whole host of positive feelings and affect. It feels good to truly "master" and apply any skill or body of knowledge.
Binder, C. (1993).
Behavioral Fluency: A New Paradigm.
Educational Technology, 1993, 8-14.
Summary of principles and key research supporting fluency-based instruction, including references to early studies in verbal learning and other traditional areas of experimental psychology.
Binder, C. (1996).
Behavioral Fluency: Evolution of a New Paradigm.
The Behavior Analyst, 19(2), 163-197.
A longer and more academic article about the origins and principles underlying fluency-based instruction. Almost 20 years later it continues to be assigned to students in education, instructional design, behavior analysis, and performance improvement.
Binder, C. (2000).
Fluency and Remembering.
Carl acts as a consultant to the Haughton Learning Center, a program for children that uses methods based on the same principles and methods we use and develop. He wrote this article for the center newsletter.
Binder, C. (2001, March).
Measurement: A Few Important Ideas.
Performance Improvement, 20-28.
While this article is not focused on fluency per se, it provides some background about the measurement principles and tools used in Precision Teaching and standard celeration charting, the methodology that has yielded most of what we currently know about fluency-based instruction.
Binder, C. (2003a, April).
Doesn't Everybody Need Fluency?
Performance Improvement, 42(3), 14-20.
This article lays out the view that we're all trapped in the percentage correct "box" because of our educational histories since childhood, and that we can't get beyond mediocrity to produce true mastery without measuring the time dimension. "It's the measurement, stupid!" is another rude title for this argument. The article also contains a sort of research travelogue and previews key points from Binder's upcoming book called Everybody Needs Fluency!
Binder, C. (2004).
In Response: A refocus on response-rate measurement: Comment on Doughty, Chase, and O'Shields (2004).
The Behavior Analyst, 27(2), 281-286.
This paper was written in response to a review of rate-building research by Doughty, et al, in which the authors introduced errors into the Precision Teaching literature and recommended research designs without explicitly mentioning certain essential measurement components. We have not included the Doughty, et al article on this web site in the absence of permission to do so, but suggest readers request a copy of their article by writing Shannon S. Doughty, the first author, at PSHSSH@srskansas.org.
Binder, C. (2005).
Learning, teaching, and an evolutionary imperative.
A summary of remarks made by Carl Binder upon receiving the Fred S. Keller Award for Contributions to Behavioral Education. The American Psychological Association Division 25 Recorder, 38 (1), 10-12.
Binder, C., & Bloom, C. (1989, February).
Fluent Product Knowledge: Application in the Financial Services Industry.
Performance and Instruction, 28(2), 17-21.
This paper represents possibly the first documented repeated successes of fluency-based methods in the corporate world – in sales knowledge training for commercial and consumer banking. It launched a company, Product Knowledge Systems, Inc., which enabled sales forces in markets that demand consultative selling to know what they're talking about.
Binder, C., Haughton, E., & Bateman, B. (2002).
Fluency: Achieving true mastery in the learning process.
Professional Papers in Special Education. University of Virginia Curry School of Special Education (http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/go/specialed/papers).
This paper was prompted by Barbara Bateman, renowned special educator and lawyer, who requested a collaborative effort with the first two authors to make what is known about fluency available in plain English to a broader range of special educators and parents. Covers basic rationale and methodology for building fluency in basic skills.
Binder, C., & Sweeney, L. (2002, February).
Building Fluent Performance in a Customer Call Center.
Performance Improvement, 41(2), 29-37.
A huge success story for fluencybased methods in the corporate environment. Fluency-based training and coaching helped ramp up performance to 60% better than the call center benchmark within two weeks after new hire training.
Fox, E.J., and Ghezzi, P.M. (2003).
Effects of computer-based fluency training on concept formation.
Journal of Behavioral Education, 12(1), 1-21.
This study, while suffering from a variety of design flaws, represents an important effort to subject instructional methods using response rate mastery criteria to experimental analysis. Future studies would benefit from within-subject control procedures, a larger set of material to be learned, and possibly higher response rate criteria.
Haughton, E. (1972).
Aims – Growing and Sharing.
In Jordan, J.B., and Robbins, L.S. (Eds.). Let's Try Doing Something Else Kind of Thing: Behavioral Principles and the Exceptional Child. A report from the Invisible College Conference on Application of Behavioral Principles in Exceptional Child Education, March, 1971. Arlington, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children, 20-39.
This inspiring chapter is what started many of us second-generation Precision Teachers on the path toward fluency-based instruction. Eric Haughton summarized the work that he and his associates (notably, Clay Starlin) had done leading to the conclusion that "aims" or count per minute fluency standards should serve as mastery criteria or goals for instruction and practice. In many respects, this chapter says most of what over 30 years later we have merely refined and expanded.
Johnson, K.R., and Layng, T.V.J. (1992).
Breaking the structuralist barrier: Literacy and numeracy with fluency.
American Psychologist, 47(11), 1475-1490.
This article was the first widely distributed description of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction, an approach to instruction based on Learning Sciences research and a foundation of fluency development. A classic in the field, well worth reading.
Johnson, K.R., and Layng, T.V. J. (1994).
The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction.
In Gardner, R., Sainato, D.M., Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., Heward, W.L., Eshleman, J.W., and Grossi, T. (Eds.). Behavior Analysis in education: Focus on measurably superior instruction.
Belmont, CA: Brooks-Cole, 173-197.
Johnson, K.R., and Street, E.M. (2004).
The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction: What it means to leave no child behind.
Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
This book describes the rationale and components of the Morningside Model, a powerful integration of research-based methods built on a foundation of procedures for building fluent skills and knowledge. This link takes you to Amazon where you can purchase the book.
Kubina, R., & Morrison R. (2000).
Fluency in Education.
Behavior and Social Issues, 10, Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, 83-99.
A good plain English discussion of fluency in education, published by a great not-for-profit organization that supports the application of behavior science to practical problems.
Levy, I. M., Fornari, E. D., Schulz, J. F., Pryor, K. W., McKeon, T. R., & Kuhn, L. J. (2016).
A Curriculum for Teaching the Foundation Tool Skills to First-Year Orthopaedic Surgery Residents.
Montefiore Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine and Surgery, 1(1), 4-19.
Here’s an exciting example of fluency that combines tag teaching and neurosurgery.
Lindsley, O.R. (1991).
Precision Teaching's Unique Legacy from B.F. Skinner.
Journal of Behavioral Education, 1(2), 253-266.
This article summarizes historical inputs to Precision Teaching from Skinner and some of the key features of current practice and language at the time the article was written.
Lindsley, O.R. (1992).
Precision Teaching: Discoveries and Effects.
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. 25(1), 51-57.
This summary by the co-founder of Precision Teaching (along with Eric Haughton) describes many of the underlying principles and historical developments leading to fluency-based instructional methods.
McGreevy, P. (1983).
Teaching and Learning in Plain English: Second Edition.
This book is a superb introduction to Precision Teaching and standard celeration charting methods by a long-time master of the methodology, especially applied with children and special education populations. You may purchase the book by clicking on this link.
Starlin, Clay. M. (1979).
Evaluating and Teaching Reading to "Irregular" Kids.
Iowa Perspective, 1-10.
This is a classic article, hard to find anywhere else unless you happen to have a paper copy. It lays out the basics of a Precision Teaching approach to reading. While there are more strategies and pinpoints that might be relevant in some cases (e.g., focus on word attack skills, Elizabeth Haughton's fluency development methods for phonological coding), this is definitely a great place to start.
Zemke, R. (2003b).
Training Today Q&A: Building Fluency.
Training Magazine, July/August, 14.
This one-pager by our old late friend, Ron Zemke (Senior Editor at Training Magazine for years and a great performance improvement professional), is a liberally edited summary of an interview he conducted with Carl Binder so that he could present fluency-based training and coaching in a simple, summary way. A pretty good summary for business decisionmakers.