Dr. Kent Johnson founded Morningside Academy, in Seattle, Washington, in 1980, and currently serves as its Executive Director Emeritus. Morningside Academy operates a scientifically driven “catch-up” program for children and youth with learning and attention problems and a “get-ahead” program for average and above-average middle school youth, as well as provides a laboratory for developing instructional methods and materials. It has also provided training and consulting in instruction to over 140 schools and agencies throughout the USA and Canada since 1991. Morningside’s exemplary science-based approach has had global impact and serves as a beacon of hope for many, transforming lives and demonstrating what high-quality behavior analytic education can offer.
Dr. Johnson has served in all the positions at Morningside, including classroom teacher for 10 years, financial manager, administrator, teacher trainer, school psychologist and school consultant. He has published many seminal papers and books about research-based curriculum and teaching methods, most recently The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction: Building a Bridge Between Skills and Inquiry Teaching with Dr. Elizabeth Street, Andrew Kieta and Dr. Joanne Robbins. The Morningside Model focuses upon foundation skills in reading, writing, mathematics, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, studying core content, and learning through inquiry. Over 50,000 students and over two thousand teachers have learned and taught with the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. Dr. Johnson is also a co-founder of Headsprout, Inc., a company that develops web-based, interactive, cartoon-driven instructional programs, including Headsprout Early Reading and Headsprout Reading Comprehension. Examine them at www.headsprout.com.
Dr. Johnson’s commitment to and success in developing and disseminating innovative and highly effective behaviorally based educational practices have been recognized by his receiving the 2001 Award for Public Service in Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, the 2016 Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, the 2011 Ogden R. Lindsley Lifetime Achievement Award in Precision Teaching from the Standard Celeration Society, the 2010 Edward L. Anderson Award in Recognition for Exemplary Contributions to Behavioral Education from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, the 2009 Ernie Wing Award for Excellence in Evidence-based Education from the Wing Institute, and the 2006 Allyn and Bacon Exemplary Program Award from the Council for Exceptional Children, Division for Learning Disabilities.
Prior to founding Morningside, Dr. Johnson was professor at Central Washington University, director of staff training at the Fernald School in Massachusetts, and instructional designer at Northeastern University in Boston. He received his M.S. (1974) and Ph.D. (1977) in psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst under the mentorship of Drs. Beth Sulzer-Azaroff, Ellen Reese, and John Donahoe. He received his B.S. in psychology and sociology from Georgetown University (1973), under the mentorship of Dr. J Gilmour Sherman. He also counts Drs. Fred Keller, Charles Ferster, B. F. Skinner, Susan Markle, John Dewey, Siegfried Engelmann, Ogden Lindsey, Israel Goldiamond, Arthur Whimbey, and colleague Joe Layng as major influences on his work.
Dr. Johnson enjoys reading philosophy, mysteries, ancient history, psychology, and books about teaching and children. He also enjoys rock, electronic downbeat and ambient music, and conversations about politics and public policy.
His recent publications include:
Johnson, K. R., & Ruskin, R. S. (1977). Behavioral Instruction: An evaluative review. Washington, D. C.: American Psychological Association.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2004). The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction: What it means to leave no child behind. Concord, MA: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Begeny, J., Schulte, A., & Johnson, K. (2012). Enhancing Instructional Problem Solving: An Efficient System for Assisting Struggling Learners. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2013). Response to Intervention with Precision Teaching: Creating synergy in the classroom. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Johnson, K., Street, E. M., Kieta, A. R, & Robbins, J. K. (2021). The Morningside Model of Generative Instruction: Building a Bridge Between Skills and Inquiry Teaching. Cornwell-on-Hudson, NY: Sloan Publishing
Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters
Johnson, K. (2008a). Precision Teaching. In, N. Suskind (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology, 2, 809-813. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Johnson, K. (2008b). Personalized System of Instruction. In, N. Suskind (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology, 2, 786-789. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2008). Direct Instruction. In, N. Suskind (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Educational Psychology, 1, 240-243. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2012). From the laboratory to the field and back again: Morningside Academy’s 32 years of improving students’ academic performance. The Behavior Analyst Today, 13, 20-40.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2014). Precision Teaching: The Legacy of Ogden Lindsley. In McSweeney, F. K, & Murphy, E. S. (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Operant and Classical Conditioning, 581-609. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. of The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex.
Street, E. M., & Johnson, K. (2014). The Sciences of Learning, Instruction, and Assessment as Underpinnings of the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction. Acta De Investigacion Psicologica, 2014, 4, 1772 – 1792.
Johnson, K. (2015a). Behavior Analysis Can Thrive In Education Too. (an intellectual autobiographical chapter). In, Holdsambeck, R. D., & Pennypacker, H. S. (Eds.), Behavioral Science: Tales of Inspiration, Discovery, and Service. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Johnson, K. (2015b). Behavioral Education in the 21st Century. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 35, 135-150.
Johnson, K., E. M. Street, & M. D. Neely (2019). Precision Teaching: Fluency and agility. In N. G. Haring, M. S. White, & M. D. Neely (Eds.), Precision Teaching: A Practical Science of Education, 135-153. Cornwell-on-Hudson, NY: Sloan Publishing.
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2020). Precision Teaching. In P. M. McKerchar & E. K. Morris (Eds.), The encyclopedia of child and adolescent development: Vol. 2. Behavior in Childhood. John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119171492.wecad097
Johnson, K., & Street, E. M. (2020). Generative Responding Through Contingency Adduction. In M. Fryling, R-A. Rehfeldt, J. Tarbox, & L. Hayes (Eds.), Applied Behavior Analysis of Language and Cognition, 131-156. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Johnson, K., & Bulla, A. J. (2021). Creating the Components for Teaching Concepts. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 14, 785-792.
Johnson, K. (2022). A Tribute To Ogden Lindsley: 5 major contributions with pictures. In Calkin, A. B. (Ed.), Tribute to Ogden R. Lindsley His Life and Contributions. Cornwell-on-Hudson, NY: Sloan Publishing.