TAGteach – Using Clicker Training with Humans, continued

TAGteach – Using Clicker Training with Humans, continued

So, now we come to TAGteach. The following is taken from “TAGteach and Autism” by Mary Lynch Barbera, co-author of The Verbal Behavior Approach:

“The acronym TAG means Teaching with Acoustical Guidance and was used first with gymnasts, not children with special needs. It all started when Theresa McKeon purchased a horse in 2005 and had difficulty training it. She went on-line and learned about Karen Pryor’s clicker training technology. Theresa used clicker training until the horse was calmer and then sold it. In the process of using clicker training with her horse, Theresa, a national gymnastics coach, decided that clickers might be very helpful to her young students. When a gymnast had difficulty with a handstand, for instance, the skills of the handstand could be broken down and each skill could be taught separately. When one of the students got her feet to the 12 o’clock position or put her arms over her ears, the coach could click to signal that the position was correct.”

Comparing Clicker Training and TAGteach, G David Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D wrote:

“Once clicker training begins the trainer clicks and ‘treats’ [i.e., reinforces] each time the learner performs the target response (continuous reinforcement).  Complex behaviors are usually broken down into their parts (task analysis) and taught one part at a time until the learner performs the entire behavior from start to finish (shaping by successive approximations).  Clicker trainers minimize the use of words.  Verbal directions (and other cues calling for the target response) are typically introduced only after the target response is well established … At its core, clicker training entails designation of a discrete target response and delivery of a click (an audible marker) every time the learner performs the designated response.  [Snip]

TAGteach employs and further adapts the use of scientifically established behavioral principles and practices, already incorporated in clicker training including:  primary and secondary reinforcement, task analysis, shaping by successive approximations, discrimination training, and differential reinforcement of alternative responding, errorless discrimination, generalization, and extinction. TAGteach goes beyond clicker training to include the use of modeling and imitation, vicarious reinforcement and learning, and even some cognitive behavioral techniques such as debriefing and self-instruction.”

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