Using SAFMEDS and direct instruction to teach the model of hierarchical complexity

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The model of hierarchical complexity (MHC) assesses a general, unidimensional behavioral developmental set of tasks and stages that measures difficulty across different domains. Teaching the model is a challenge because of the abstract nature of the model. Using traditional methods of lecturing to teach the model often failed because there was no active responding required on the part of the learners. In the present work, precision teaching was employed as a method of teaching the model and to assess whether this could improve students’ learning of the model. Two components of Precision Teaching were used: (a) the systematic method of evaluating instructional tactics and curricula (West & Young, 1992) using Standard Celeration Charting; and (b) recording students’ directly observable behavior to provide feedback on their success using SAFMED (Say-All-Fast-Minute- Each-Day-Shuffled) (Graf, 1994). The results indicate that 24 participants from four workshops all met criteria for acquisition. This indicates that precision teaching provides an effective way to teach difficult conceptual material, such as the MHC.

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