Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Comparison of a Peer Tutoring Program and a Teacher Driven Tutoring Program on Reading Skills in an Adjudicated Secondary School
by Smith, John R., Jr., Ed.D., Widener University, 2020, 179; 27836496
Abstract (Summary)

Unmotivated, struggling readers are already behind their classmates at the start of school and will remain behind unless a successful intervention transpires (Fuchs, Compton, Cordray, & Fuchs, 2008). This study addressed the issue of secondary school students entering an adjudicated setting and not being able to read on their instructional grade level.

The researcher studied whether a peer tutoring (student-led) model and a (teacher-led) tutoring model for adjudicated at-risk students can increase reading performance and self-perception of reading ability. The researcher conducted classroom observations 20 times within the twelve-week time frame of the reading intervention. Following each observation, the researcher met with the peer tutors to provide feedback and guidance. The Direct Instruction (DI) model was utilized for the teacher-led tutoring component of the study. DI involves demonstrating the learning task in small steps; guiding students through the steps during initial practice and making sure students can successfully carry out the task on their own (Blik, Harskamp & Naayer 2016).

Pretest and posttest scores on the Diagnostic Assessment of Reading (DAR) were compared for both the student-led experimental group, and the teacher-led control group. A two-tailed paired samples t-test indicated that both the peer tutor student-led and the teacher-led instructional models lead to a statistically significant increase in the reading levels of the students in both groups. An independent-groups t-test was used to compare the DAR posttest scores of the two groups, and they did not differ significantly. Therefore, the peer tutoring student-led intervention was shown to be equally effective to the teacher-led intervention in improving reading ability.

Similarly, two paired t-tests were performed to compare the pretest and posttest scores on the Reading Self-Perception measure for the student-led group and the teacher-led group. Both of the instructional models led to a statistically significant increase in students’ perceptions of their reading ability. However, the posttest reading self-perceptions scores of the teacher-led group were significantly higher than those of the students in the student-led group.

Phia and Miller (2003) suggest that without interventions, such as tutoring, low reading achievement would continue to keep low socioeconomic students from academic success. The adjudicated youth that participated in this study showed significant increases in reading skills and reading self-perception which is an essential component in helping students become instructional leaders in and out of the classroom setting. The results are discussed in relation to the potential usefulness of peer-tutoring interventions for at-risk youth as a cost-effective means of improving their educational outcomes. Additional potential benefits of peer-tutoring programs in challenging educational settings are also discussed, and suggestions are made for ways to further increase the impact of peer-tutoring interventions in future studies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wilhite, Stephen, Yoder, Noreen
Commitee: Wilhite, Stephen, Yoder, Noreen, McHenry, Nadine
School: Widener University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Secondary education, Reading instruction
Keywords: Adjudicated, At-risk, Peer tutoring, Student-led, Teacher-led, Urban youth
Publication Number: 27836496
ISBN: 9798641899978
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