Practice or Drill?

This fits in with a model of fluency in basic skills well; even if it is presented in more cognitive psychology terms:-)

Filling the pail

There are a couple of terms that are often used pejoratively in education discussions and yet possess an interesting relationship with reality. “Drill” and “Memorisation” are generally considered to be bad things; the kind of stuff that puts children off education. However, if we replace the term “drill” with “practice” then it is trivially true that it is a desirable thing. Who ever mastered anything without sufficient and sustained practice? Similarly, would we not also want our students to remember what they have learnt? If they do not, then can we even say that they have learnt anything at all? So, “memorization” is perhaps not all that bad.

Of course, deployment of these terms is part of the romantic education-as-an-awakening-from-within narrative that sets itself against attempts to transmit knowledge and skills from experts (teachers) to novices. And yet, as we have seen, the logic is hard to sustain.

It therefore sparked my…

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Why the terms “Noncompliance” and “Off task” Should be Permanently Stricken from the Vocabulary of all ABA Professionals and Students

Yes Indeed. Thoughtful post on ABA vocabulary

Behavior Bigmouth


If you currently work or study in the field of applied behavior analysis, chances are that you actively use the terms “noncompliance” and “off task. If you haven’t used them, you have at least been exposed to them. “Noncompliance” and “off task” are not behaviors and those terms should be permanently stricken from the vocabulary of all ABA professionals and students.

Join me on a trip down memory lane to a simpler time, free of the stress that comes from submitting behavior plans to insurance companies for approval. Let us journey now, back to a time before you knew how to break a line in the behavioral graph and did not have to be vigilant in your tireless efforts to avoid dual relationships. Try to recall your formative years as a student of ABA. Try to visualize yourself back in the days when you were a budding baby analyst not…

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