Olmscheid, Carey. “The Effectiveness of Peer Tutoring in the Elementary Grades.” 1999, CSU Long Beach.
The use of peer tutors has been an educational tool for centuries. Students benefit by receiving immediate clarification of information they do not understand and feedback in a nonthreatening environment. Tutors reinforce their own knowledge and skills, build their self-confidence, and develop a sense of responsibility. Students of any age and at-risk students are as capable of serving as peer tutors as any other students, and the benefits to them can be significant. Peer tutoring can also help gifted students who need to be challenged. Peer tutoring can be implemented in an attempt to cross language and cultural barriers, with older students tutoring younger students in their native languages. By utilizing peer tutoring, teachers can teach more effectively. Peer tutoring enables teachers to focus on new materials as peer tutors reinforce materials already covered and give help to students in need. A structured system of one-to-one tutoring can afford the benefits of one-to-one instruction for large numbers of students. Peer-tutoring programs are typically more cost effective than computer-assisted instruction, reduced class size, or extended school days in improving academic achievement. Peer tutoring has the potential to increase academic engagement. Barriers to the implementation and maintenance of effective peer tutoring programs include incomplete implementation, lack of adherence to protocols by teachers, lack of administrative support for teachers, and heavy teacher workloads.
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