A comparison of classwide cross-age and same-age peer tutoring for second-grade students at risk for reading failure

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Special Education

First Committee Member

Marjorie Montague - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of classwide cross-age peer tutoring (CAPT) and same-age peer tutoring (SAPT) on second-grade students at risk for reading failure. The specific goals were to determine if, after 12 weeks of peer tutoring using PALS, there were statistically significant differences on reading achievement, attitude towards reading, and satisfaction measures for: (a) treatment and control groups; (b) the CAPT tutees and SAPT tutees; and (c) the CAPT and SAPT tutors. Additionally, teachers' perceptions of the efficacy and feasibility of peer tutoring as a model for accommodating at-risk students in general education classrooms were examined.Using a quasi-experimental nonequivalent three-group pretest/posttest design (Campbell & Stanley, 1963) and linear regression procedures to transform achievement and attitude data into Studentized residuals as the measure of gain for the between-group analyses (ANOVAs and t-tests), it was found that the students who participated in peer tutoring (n = 46) had statistically significantly higher scores than the control group (n = 12) on reading achievement measures (p $$.05). On the satisfaction measure, students indicated that (a) peer tutoring helped them learn; (b) they enjoyed peer tutoring; and (c) they would like to continue with peer tutoring. On teacher questionnaires and interviews, SAPT was rated as more effective and feasible than CAPT.It was concluded that peer tutoring is a strategy teachers can use to provide effective individualized reading instruction to children in general education classes. CAPT and SAPT seemed equally effective for improving reading achievement regardless of risk status or designation as tutor or tutee. This gives teachers a choice in selecting the model that bests fits the needs of their students and is compatible with their classroom structure.


Education, Elementary; Education, Reading

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