Session 31: Pat McGreevy on Teaching Functional Skills

Session 31 features a guest who has been requested by listeners numerous times since the start of this podcast, and that is none other than Dr. Pat McGreevy. As I explain in the episode, Pat and I have been talking on and off about doing a show for over a year now, and I'm really glad we finally had an opportunity to record this discussion.

What exactly did we talk about? Well, Pat describes how he got into the field, and more interestingly, what the field was like in the early 1970's. He discusses his graduate training with Dr. Ogden Lindsley, the use of the Standard Celeration Chart, and when to shift gears from teaching verbal operants to functional skills. Pat also shares his views methodological and practice-level issues in our field.

Finally, a conversation with Pat would be incomplete without discussing the curriculum he developed, Essential for Living. He discusses why he wrote the curriculum in the first place, and helped me understand how to get started with it.

Here is his bio from the website:

Dr. McGreevy received B.S. and M.A. degrees in Psychology and Special Education, respectively, from the University of Iowa. He was a special education teacher for eight years, working with children and young adults with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities. He received the Ph.D. degree in Education from Kansas University under the guidance of Ogden R. Lindsley.

Dr. McGreevy served on the Special Education faculties of the University of Missouri Kansas City, and Louisiana State University. He also served on the faculty of the Behavior Analysis Program at the Florida Institute of Technology.

He is the author of Teaching and Learning in Plain English, an introduction to Precision Teaching, and the founder of the Journal of Precision Teaching and Standard Celeration Charting. He is also the author of ten journal articles and a book chapter on teaching verbal behavior.

He is the first author of Essential for Living, a new functional skills curriculum, assessment, and professional practitioner’s handbook for children and adults with moderate-to-severe disabilities.

For the past 30 years, Dr. McGreevy has provided consultations for children and adults with developmental disabilities in school districts, residential programs, and hospitals, specializing in the treatment of aggressive and self-injurious behavior in individuals with limited communication or language skills.

Under the guidance of Dr. Jack Michael, Dr. McGreevy has also conducted workshops on teaching communication skills and language in the context of severe problem behavior, which are based on B. F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior.

This podcast is sponsored by Britton Behavioral Consulting. Dr. Lisa Britton provides affordable, high quality, independent fieldwork supervision for aspiring BCBA’s. Group and independent supervision sessions are available. For more information, click here to reach out to Lisa.

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