PUBLICATIONS

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. (1988). Precision teaching: Measuring and attaining exemplary academic achievement. Youth Policy Journal, 10(7), 12-15. An old article with a succinct description of Precision Teaching, fluency-based education for children.

Binder, C. (1990). Precision teaching and curriculum based measurement. Journal of Precision Teaching, 7(2), 33-35. Fairly esoteric, for teachers, but might also interest the curious layperson.

Binder, C. (1990, September). Closing the confidence gap. Training, 49-56. 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., & Van Eyk, D. (1990). Increasing endurance by building fluency: Precision teaching attention span. Teaching Exceptional Children, 22(3), 24-27. A description of early research with kids linking so-called "attention deficits " with a lack of fluency.

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.

Binder, C., & Watkins, C. L. (1990). Precision teaching and direct instruction: Measurably superior instructional technology in schools. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 3(4), 74-96. A good summary of two evidence-based methodologies that should be used in all schools today.

Bucklin, B.R., Dickinson, A.M., and Brethower, D. M. (2000). A comparison of the effects of fluency training and accuracy training on application and retention. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 13(3), 140-163. A good example of basic fluency research, and suggestions for more research if you're looking for a Master's or Doctoral level research topic.

Calkin, A.B. (2005). Precision teaching: The standard celeration charts. The Behavior Analyst Today, 6 (4), 207-213. 

Cohen, M. A., and Martin, G. L. (1971)  Applying Precision Teaching to Academic Assessment. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 147-150.

Duncan, A. D. (1971). The View from the Inner Eye: Personal Management of Inner and Outer Behaviors.  TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 152-156.

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.

Galloway, C., and Galloway, K. C. (1971). Parent Classes in Precise Behavior Management. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 120-128.

Haughton, E. (1971). Great Gains from Small Starts. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 141-146.

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.

Koenig, C. (1971). The Behavior Bank: A System for Sharing Precise Information. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 157.

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.


Kunzelmann, H., Burke, L., Koenig, C., Wood, S. Goals for Basic Math Skill Proficiency (The Pendulum Swings).

Kunzelmann, H. P., Magliocca, L. A., Crew, J. L., Rinaldi, R. T. (1977). Early Identification of Handicapped Children through a Frequency Sampling Technique.


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. (1964). Direct measurement & prosthesis of retarded behavior. Journal of Education, 147, 62-8.

Lindsley, O.R. (1968). Technical Note: A Reliable Wrist Counter for Recording Behavior Rates. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 77-78.

Lindsley, O.R. (1971). From Skinner to Precision Teaching: The Child Knows Best. The Council for Exceptional Children, 2-11.

Lindsley, O.R. (1971). Precision Teaching in Perspective: An Interview with Ogden R. Lindsley. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 114-119.

Lindsley, O.R. (1979). Rate of Response Futures. The History and Future of Rate of Response, 1-19.

Lindsley, O.R. (1986). In Memoriam; Eric C. Haughton 1934-1985. The Behavior Analyst, 9(2), 241-242.

Lindsley, O.R. (1988). Skinners Impact on Education. An Introduction to the division of Educational Psychology, 1-6.

Lindsley, O.R. (1990). Precision Teaching: by Teachers for Children. Teaching Exceptional Children, 22(3), 10-15.

Lindsley, O.R. (1991). Thank You, Grandpa Fred. The Journal of Precision Teaching, 1-17.

Lindsley, O.R. (1991). Basic and Applied Monitoring Standards. The Relationship between Basic and Applied Behavior Analysis: Where do we Stand and Where Do We Want to Go? 1-6.

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). Why Aren't Effective Teaching Tools Widely Adopted? Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25(1), 21-26.

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.

Lindsley, O.R. (1995). Ten Products of Fluency. The Journal of Precision Teaching, 1, 2-11.

Lindsley, O.R. (1996). Is Fluency Free-Operant Response-Response Chaining? The Behavior Analyst, 19(2), 211-224.

Lindsley, O.R. (1996). The Four Free-Operant Freedoms. The Behavior Analyst, 19(2), 199-210.

Lindsley, O.R. (1998). From Training Evaluation to Performance Tracking. The Handbook of Human Performance Technology, 2, 1-18.

Lindsley, O.R. (2000). Celeration and Agility for the 2000's. Journal of Precision Teaching and Celeration, 17(2), 107-111.

McConnell, L. (1971). "And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full": A Letter. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 158.

McDowell, C., and Kennan,M. (2001). Developing fluency and endurance in a child diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(3), 345-348. The results reported in this article confirm that building fluency can help to improve attention span and endurance in students who otherwise experience difficulty staying on task.

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.

Merbitz, C. (1996). Frequency measures of behavior for assistive technology and rehabilitation. Assistive Technology, 8(2), 121-130.

Merbitz, C., Miller, T., Hansen, N. (2003). Cueing and logical problem solving in brain trauma rehabilitation: Frequency patterns in clinician and patient behaviors. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 4(1&2), 31-43.

Neely, M.D., Johnson, K. (2004). Honoring Ogden R. Lindsley, 1922-2004. The ABA Newsletter, 28(1), 34-42.

Nosik, M. R., Williams, W. L., Binder, C., Carr, J. E. (2017). Methodological refinements in the behavior-analytic study of distraction: A preliminary investigation. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(1), 71-83.


Snyder, G (1992). Training to Fluency, A Real Return on Investment (featuring an interview with Dr. Carl Binder). Performance Management Magazine, 10, 16-22. 

Starlin, C.M. (1971).  Evaluating progress towards reading proficiency.   In B. Bateman (Ed.), Learning Disorders,Vol N. Seattle, WA: Special Child Publications. 390-465.

Starlin, C. (1971). Peers and Precision.  TEACHING Exceptional Children, 3(3), 129-132.

Starlin, C.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.


Vargas, J.S. (2003). Precision Teaching and Skinner’s Legacy. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 4(1-2). A review of the power and breadth of precision teaching through looking at 5 articles.

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.