Advancing the science and practice of precision education to enhance student outcomes

Clayton R. Cook, Stephen P. Kilgus, Matthew K. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


School psychology research and practice has considerable room for growth to go beyond “did an intervention work?” to “what intervention worked for whom and how did it work?” The latter question reflects a more precise understanding of intervention, and involves strategic efforts to enhance the precision of services students with academic, behavioral, emotional, or physical health problems receive to enhance the degree to which interventions are appropriately tailored to and produce benefit for individual students. The purpose of this special issue is to advance the notion and science of precision education, which is defined as an approach to research and practice that is concerned with tailoring preventive and intervention practices to individuals based on the best available evidence. This introductory article provides context for the special issue by discussing reasons why precision education is needed, providing definitions/descriptions of precision education research, and outlining opportunities to advance the science of precision education. Six empirical studies and one methodological-oriented article were compiled to provide examples of the breadth of research that falls under precision education. Although each of the article focuses on students with different needs (literacy deficits, math deficits, emotional and behavior problems, and intellectual disability), there is a common thread that binds them together, and that is each one captures the heterogeneity among students with particular problems or deficits and highlights the need to select and deliver more precise interventions to optimize student outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of school psychology
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


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