competent learner model

This is the first in a three part series looking at how the Competent Learner Model is disseminated daily in accordance with the principles laid out in ABAI’s 1990 Bill of Students’ Rights.

Did you know about this important part of the Competent Learner Model’s history?

In 1990 several pioneers in the field of Behavior Analysis got together to define a bill of rights for education. The resulting document: “Statement on Students’  Right to Effective Education”, was adopted by ABAI as its official policy. Vicci Tucci took these ‘rights to effective education’ and put them front and center while developing the Competent Learner Model.  

Click here to read ABAI’s Statement on Students’ Right to Effective Education.

The Students’ Rights outlined in the ABAI document are foundational to the implementation of the CLM in ALL settings. These rights outline the intention and commitment that the Competent Learner Model team has for the learners we serve, their families and their educators/instructors.  

Of absolute and primary importance is the fact that the Competent Learner Model never forces compliance. THE CLM DOES NOT SUPPORT COERCIVE PRACTICES. Instead, the Competent Learner Model uses meaningful learner reinforcement, validated curricula, a coaching model that ensures all instructors are providing consistent instruction, and well designed and implemented contingencies and programming. The goal of the Competent Learner Model is to develop the missing learner skills sets, or repertoires, that are the core of all learning. This approach creates participators who evolve into competent learners. PLAY is the medium with which the CLM creates learners. Learning environments are engineered so that all members of the CLM team are successful: learners, behavior professionals, school staff, parents and families.

Click here to read more about the Competent Learner Model’s revolutionary approach to behavioral intervention.


  1. Frequent opportunities per day to be successful as scheduled.

Each learner is scheduled to participate in instructional sessions that provide numerous opportunities for the learners to be successful.  That is, the learner should be provided with a number of opportunities to respond during any given instructional condition to meet the criteria set for the given session.

We promise to provide a rich educational environment in homes and schools that allow the learner to engage in instruction. We use highly preferred activities for instruction and positive reinforcement.  Learning is fun!  That’s why our motto is Play, Learn & Achieve.

What it looks like: 

  • If the goal is to improve turn taking, collaboration with the team (family, teacher and/or Behavior Technician) is done to ensure there will be peers present in the session to practice this skill. 
  • The CLM team creates a schedule with the family to ensure that the family and learner are available each week for sessions so that the trajectory of learner progress is maintained. Our direct service teams feature a coordinator, a position unique to the industry, whose role is to make sure sessions are consistently in place.
  1. Curricula & instructional materials that have been validated.

The behavior team collects data and summarizes it to verify that the learner has met the criteria for the delivered format.

The CLM was designed on the principles of ABA, Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching. It is science based; accurate data is taken regularly as data based decisions are made to guide the next steps of the learner’s program. A published article details how this is achieved in the book Evidence-Based Educational Methods: Chapter 3, Section 8. This is based on research and authored by Vicci Tucci, Daniel E. Hursh and Richard E. Laitinen.


ABAI’s Students’ Right to Effective Education

What this looks like: 

  • Data about the learner’s performance for each goal is accurately recorded during each session and reviewed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who will determine if the goal has been met or if any instructional modifications are required for the learner to be successful. 

When the CLM curriculum is used in programming, components of ABA, Direct Instruction and Precision Teaching are embedded. They are included in how instruction is presented and what types of data is used for each lesson.

Rae-Ann Arevelo

Rae-Ann Arevelo, Certified CLM Coach

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment

Share this Post:

Related Posts