Authors: Nicole Harris and Sarah Wright
Publication: DECP Debate
This critique briefly summarises the evolution of the Precision Teaching (PT) approach, exploring what PT is, who it can be used with and its theoretical underpinnings. The results of a systematic literature search exploring the question ‘Is Precision Teaching effective at improving maths skills in school aged children and
young people?’ are then discussed. Based on the five publications reviewed, the interventions that involved PT generally showed greater performance gains than the control or comparison group. Given the highly specific conditions of these interventions however, it is not possible to generalise the intervention effects beyond these studies. It must therefore be concluded that based on these five papers, it is not possible to say whether PT is an effective way to support maths skills. The implications for professional practice suggest a need to establish an evidence base, built around formalised and structured evaluations of PT, that use a control or comparison group. It is suggested that more teachers be involved in this process rather than it being the role of academics. This would enable teachers and Educational Psychologists to speak with more certainty of the efficacy of PT at improving maths skills in school aged children and young people.
This is a pre-publication version of the following article:
(2023) Precision Teaching for maths: An academic critique (2023). DECP Debate, 186, 6-17. DOI: 10.53841/bpsdeb.2023.1.186.6