Aoife McTiernan


Behaviour Analysis for Educators: Disseminating and Integrating Behaviour Analytic Approaches into Educational settings.


The field of behaviour analysis has developed highly effective interventions and systems for enhancing educational approaches to teaching reading, writing, and mathematics.  Despite such effective interventions, a gap exists between what we know from the literature, and what may be considered standard practice in educational settings.  Much work is necessary to improve the accessibility of those interventions for teachers and educators, so that they can make informed decisions about evidence-based practices.  This involves training students of behaviour analysis in this area, and to a high level, increasing research in this area so that we are best equipped to make recommendations across a broad range of individuals and settings, and disseminating and collaborating with colleagues in other areas of education.  This talk will review the relevant literature in the area of behavioural approaches for academic skill instruction and based on her own research, Dr. McTiernan will highlight some areas in need of further consideration.  Dr. McTiernan will also talk about the development of university based clinics focusing on behavioural approaches for teaching academic skills, and how this can facilitate student training and collaboration with other professionals and a wider community of educators.


Dr. Aoife McTiernan is a lecturer in Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst – Doctoral.  She has over thirteen years of experience working in educational settings and disability services.  Dr. McTiernan’s primary interest is in the dissemination and integration of behaviour analytic and evidence-based approaches into educational settings.  She has a special interest in Precision Teaching and accelerating learning for students at risk and in areas of socio-economic disadvantage, and has a number of publications in this area, including large group studies conducted in educational settings.  She established the Academics Intervention Service at the University of South Wales between 2017 and 2020.  This is a university based clinic that provides evidence-based academic tutoring to children in the local community and provides unique training opportunities for both psychology and behaviour analysis students to gain experience in the application of behaviour analysis to teach academic skills.  Dr. McTiernan returned to NUI Galway in Ireland in 2020 where she is developing a similar university based clinic, with the aims of conducting research in behavioural education with educators as partners, and to develop and disseminate evidence-based practice in education.