Haughton Learning Center: Learning Success within Every Child's Reach (illustration of a child doing a handstand)
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We base our teaching methods on over 30 years of Precision Teaching research and practice, in which our Director, Elizabeth Haughton, has been a leading participant from the beginning. Originally developed by Dr. Ogden Lindsley, whose basic research at Harvard during the 1950’s and 1960’s led to application in educational practice starting in 1965, Precision Teaching offers a solid scientific basis for managing individualized learning programs.

Precision Teaching uses daily measures of each student’s performance on every skill being taught to make decisions about teaching effectiveness, and to assess the effects of program changes on individual learning. We measure the frequency of performance (count per minute), for example the number of addition problems completed, words read, or letters written correctly and incorrectly per minute. By measuring count per minute of any behavior as part of the learning activity, we can tell whether a student’s proficiency in that behavior is increasing, and how rapidly. We use Dr. Lindsley’s Standard Chart to graph daily measures, providing powerful feedback and motivation to students and teachers alike. We set "aims" or practice goals, both for levels of performance and for rate of learning, and we help students to progress as rapidly as possible to achieve fluency, or true mastery of each objective in their learning programs.

Our educational philosophy, reflected in our Values and in the Four Cornerstones of our program, assumes that every child is a learner and that it is our responsibility to ensure learning success for each student. We base educational decisions on continuous measurement, and if the data show that students are not learning, it is up to us to change learning programs rather than blaming or labeling learners. We insist on our students’ achieving fluency on each skill taught, to ensure a solid, permanent foundation for long term learning and life success. We are committed to research-based methods and to continuous improvement of our curriculum and teaching methods, based on what we learn from measuring our students’ learning patterns.

Over the last decade, a special area for our research and application has been foundation components of reading and language, including phonemic awareness, auditory processing, word retrieval and related prerequisite skills. Unlike others who have focused on these pre-reading skills in recent years, we emphasize fluency as a necessary outcome, and we design methods for achieving fluent performance, thus laying a stronger foundation for fluent reading. Our Phonemic Awareness program, in particular, has attracted the attention of our colleagues nationally and internationally. And our success with students diagnosed with reading problems has continued to accelerate as we’ve developed more and more effective curriculum in these areas.

For more information please read Carl Binder's article "Fluency and Remembering."

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Copyright 2005 Haughton Learning Center
Original illustrations courtesy of Anne Boyle