competent learner model

What is the Competent Learner Model?

The Competent Learner Model© (CLM) is an intensive, individualized teaching program designed to build a bridge of cooperation and understanding, across the school and home programs.  The model promotes consistency in programming across ALL settings.  The products and services we utilize have been developed over 25 years in a variety of settings.  Several school districts/programs across the US and internationally have adopted many of components of the Competent Learner Model.

Outlined below are the six solutions required to implement the CLM and create learner achievement across the seven repertoires which are the core of all learning.  The repertoires, or core skill sets, are Talker, Listener, Observer, Reader, Problem Solver, Writer, and Participator.

Our curriculum and course of study is proven and is being translated into Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Italian, French, and Arabic.


Below are outlined the six solutions required to implement the CLM and create learner achievement across the seven repertoires, which are the core of all learning.  The repertoires, or core skill sets, are Talker, Listener, Observer, Reader, Problem Solver, Writer, and Participator.

The six solutions of the Competent Learner Model (CLM) were developed by analyzing the learner behavior challenges that effect teachers in the classroom and parents at home.  These solutions were identified following a comprehensive review of the published applied behavior analytic, direct instruction, and precision teaching literature on best practices for educational and intervention services for learners of all diagnostic categories.

The CLM Solutions create engagement through Collaborative Consultation, and embedded staff training and support for the Course of Study.  Coaching components which are a form of staff support, help promote the implementation of the CLM Curriculum and instructional procedures.  Continual evaluation and enhancement of staff training and individual learner programs are established and maintained through Performance AssessmentCoaching, and Collaborative Consultation components.  Each of these components is detailed below.

The CLM Curriculum was developed to provide detailed instructional formats that are designed to systematically strengthen the seven Competent Learner Repertoires (CLRs) of Talking, Listening, Problem Solving, Observing, Participating, Reading and Writing.  It consists of two levels that take the naïve learner from Competent Learner Repertoires that are not established to the establishment and maintenance of all seven CLRs across all appropriate situations.  The completion of the second level of the CLM Curriculum prepares learners to be successful, meeting existing learner expectations at the kindergarten or beginning first grade level of sophistication for normally developing children.  Routine implementation of the Competent Learner Model’s instructional formats has been shown to directly and positively impact the development of the Competent Learner Repertoires.

The CLM Course of Study prepares educators and parents to be successful at arranging and rearranging the parts of instructional components so that Competent Learner Repertoires (CLRs) develop and undesirable behaviors are weakened.  The course utilizes instruction supported with video examples within an individualized system that assures educators’ and parents’ mastery of the necessary skills by utilizing performance checkouts by certified CLM Coaches.  The CLM Course of study creates success for parents and educators by helping them select, arrange and rearrange teaching procedures and settings appropriate for learners’ repertoire development.

Performance Assessments are called the Competent Learner Repertoire Assessments, and Performance Review Assessments for Educators and Parents.  The CLRAs assist educators to appropriately identify the learner’s strengths and weaknesses across the seven key “learning-to-learn” repertoires.  The Competent Learner Repertoire Assessments have been shown to have concurrent validity with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, be sensitive to change in learner behavior, and have high inter-observer agreement among educators.  The educators’ and parents’ performance is continually monitored to assess their ongoing performance in the CLM Course of Study and the delivery of what they have learned to do or say to develop their learners’ competencies.

Action Management consists of monthly work sessions which are conducted by an Action Management facilitator.  The primary focus of the work sessions is to develop the products and services as outlined in each program’s action plan.  A diverse representation of advisors (e. g., parents, educators, administrators, community service providers) and CLM staff participate in the work sessions.  The facilitator assures that each member’s results and concerns are recorded in a safe work session environment.  The monthly work sessions entail a full day of activity and the agenda normally consists of the following items: 1) Review and/or approval of newly developed products or services for agreed upon results; 2) Work session to develop the products and services; 3) Review the status of the products or services, and 4) Select results to be completed.  Action planning team members may work weekly, in small groups, between the work sessions to further develop their products or services (e.g., Student Competencies assessed).  The small groups are comprised of participants (i.e., educators, parents, community members, & CLM staff) who have the competencies to generate the products.

Coaching is utilized to assure mastery of the educators’ and parents’ CLM Course of Study and the eventual oversight of the arranging and re-arranging of the instructional conditions.  The CLM Coaches are trained to implement the Personalized System of Instruction guidelines.  For example tutoring as needed and pacing progress as they monitor their educators’ and parents’ performance.  Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc. is able to conduct Virtual Coaching℠ sessions via the internet.  An educator or parent who requires assistance will be able to have immediate access to a CLM ‘Virtual Coach’ anywhere, any time to assist in solving the problems at hand.  The virtual coach will be able to conduct direct face-to-face chat sessions to assist the educator or parent in formulating strategies.  This ongoing supportive relationship will assure that the educator will always have the technical resources needed to develop the competencies that the learners require to be successful across settings.

CLM Collaborative Consultation is the practice of providing assistance to educators and parents by creating awareness of the contingencies operating in a given situation.  An ongoing functional analysis is conducted which enables board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) to work with educators to determine what rearrangements might best assure for the development of the Competent Learner Repertoires and the weakening of undesirable repertoires.  These rearrangements are then tried with subsequent rearrangements which are developed as needed.  Throughout the consultation process the BCBA recognizes that the real expertise in the situation lies with the educators and parents who live it every day.


The foundations of the Competent Learner Model are the development of the seven ©Competent Learner Repertoires (CLRs), in conjunction with appropriate curriculum, effective teaching strategies, and ways to structure the classroom and home environments so that learning takes place in public or private educational settings.  The seven CLRs are repertoires that all learners need in order to progress and function in daily life.  These repertoires are based upon B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of functional language that provides a framework for developing communication, observing and listening skills, and the pre-academic skills of reading and writing.

A competent learner is a person who acts effectively in novel circumstances.  The implementation of the Competent Learner Model develops a set of seven specific repertoires with which the learners must be equipped to be successful under a variety of school, home and community environments.  These Competent Learner Repertoires are: talker, observer, listener, problem solver, reader, writer, and participator.


Competent Learner Model (CLM) Education White Paper – pdf


Introduction to the Competent Learner Model

Introduction To the CLM

The Pennsylvania Department of Education produced the following 7-minute video documenting the impact the CLM has provided to Parents, Teachers, Para-professionals, and Administrators.

Stop Stealing Dreams

Seth Godin asks TEDxYouth, "What is school for?"

Building Capacity to Affect All Learners

CLM Accredited sites at Vista School and Riverview Intermediate Unit demonstrate full implementation of the CLM. Parents, teachers, para-professionals, and administrators all discuss the benefits they have experienced from CLM implementation.

Instructional Strategies

Sample Coaching

Sample Coach Demonstration

CLM Coaching Example

Rini West Coaching Video 1

Rini West Coaching Video 2

Case Studies

CLM Success Stories!

The Pennsylvania Department of Education produced the following video to document the effects of the CLM. An observer is provided with an opportunity to view how 8 naive learners acquire the competencies to perform successfully in their learning environments (school, home, and community) over the course of a year. Each Case Study illustrates the benefits to each learner and his/her instructors who are implementing the CLM. Parents, Teachers, Para-professionals, and Administrators talk about how the CLM has positively impacted their learners and their learning environments.

For Administrators

CLM Benefits for Administrators

The Pennsylvania Department of Education produced the following video especially for prospective administrators. The video documenting the impact the CLM has provided to Administrators and the staff and schools they directly work with.

Administrator Testimonial

An administrator with 36 years of Special Education experience discusses the benefits the Competent Learner Model has created for staff and students alike.

Testimonial Videos

Including Parents with the Competent Learner Model, a presentation from the 12th Annual National Autism Conference

An Administrator with 36 years of experience, a first-year teacher, and a parent who is also a former Special Education teacher talk about the benefits they have experienced from implementing the Competent Learner Model within the classroom and home environments.

Parent Testimonial

A parent of a child with autism, who is also a former Special Education teacher, talks about the struggles she has encountered within the educational system and how the Competent Learner Model has benefited her son, her son’s classroom, and her knowledge as a parent. Immediately following is an additional parent discussing the progress her son has made within the same CLM classroom.

CLM Parent Training Testimonial

Virtual Coaching allows our staff to remotely train parents anywhere in the world! See how the CLM and Virtual Coaching has worked to benefit this family.

Teacher Testimonial

A first-year teacher talks about how implementing the Competent Learner Model has improved children’s progress within her classroom and the community while solidifying the classroom instructional team (e.g., parents, instructors, OT, SLP, Administrator, and Coach).

Bloomsberg Class

School staff discuss the benefits they have experienced from implementing the CLM within their school.