Peer/Cross-Age Tutor Training
Educator Guided Tutor Training- Coming Soon
Professional/Private-Practice Tutor Trianing- Coming Soon
Volunteer Tutor Training- Coming Soon
TUTORLINK MODEL FOR PEER/CROSS-AGE TUTORING: A BRIEF REVIEW OF SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH
One-to-one tutorials are
widely recognized as an effective and superior method of instruction when compared
to group or traditional classroom learning environments.
Tutoring can adapt instruction
to the learner's pace, learning style, and level of understanding. Feedback and
correction are immediate. Basic misunderstandings can be quickly identified and
corrected, practice provided, and more difficult material introduced as soon as
the student is ready. (Gaustad 1993)
In 2001, the Office of the
Deputy Secretary, Planning and Evaluation, for the U.S. Department of Education
reported that students tutoring students is effective because it provides reinforcement,
individual attention, close contact with understanding peers, and support for
academically struggling students. The report further concluded that peer and cross-age
tutoring increased reading levels for students as determined by pre-tests and
The World Book TutorLink
Peer/Cross-age Tutor Program is a process which includes methods, protocols,
and benchmarks developed through rigorous field testing over a 14 year period.
Between 1987 and 2001, the study population included nearly 6000 (six thousand)
4th to 12th grade students from both public and private schools, representing
diverse academic abilities and socio-economic backgrounds. All TutorLink program
components were critically reviewed by nationally certified tutoring administrators
and directors, as well as licensed educators from the elementary, middle, high
school, and college levels. TutorLink field testing concludes that peer/cross-age
tutoring is not intended to be a substitute for assistance from trained resource
specialists. Learning-disabled students require specialized, professional assistance.
Peer tutors cannot remediate dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory discrimination problems,
or visual memory problems. Peer/cross-age tutors can, however, provide adjunct
assistance and help struggling learners find success in the seemingly insoluble
academic problems they face each day. Peer tutors provide additional support systems
for challenged students, model successful academic behaviors, and guide students
to understand and complete assignments. Peer tutors help students organize materials,
manage time, comprehend key concepts presented in class, and study for tests.
Over 14 years of TutorLink field testing with nearly 6000 students has proven
that success outcomes occur when trained tutors model practical assistance to
frustrated, discouraged, and academically struggling students.
4 IMPORTANT QUESTIONS:
is the definition of peer tutoring? Is there a difference between peer tutoring
and cross-age tutoring?
and researchers agree that multiple definitions exist in the literature for both
peer and cross-age tutoring. That is where the agreement ends. Gaustad (1993)
concludes that peer tutoring occurs when the tutor and student are the same age.
In cross-age tutoring, the student is usually younger than the tutor. But even
Gaustad admits that the term peer tutoring is often used as a blanket label for
both types of tutorial situations. Damon and Phelps (1989) caution that peer tutoring
is often called cross-age tutoring because the tutor is more than two years older
than the student. For Damon and Phelps, the term peer tutoring is an oxymoron.
The matter of this terminology is further confused because at many schools, peer
tutoring is referred to as "peer teaching," "peer learning,"
"students helping students," "child-teach-child," or "peer
The most commonly accepted
definitions of peer and cross-age tutoring appear in the ERIC Digests.
Peer teaching or tutoring
is the process by which a competent pupil, with minimal training and with a teacher's
guidance, helps one or more students at the same grade level learn a skill or
Cross-age tutors are students
in higher grade levels who work with younger students. (Thomas 1993)
What are the benefits of peer tutoring? It is effective?
Kalkowski (1995) reported
many benefits of peer or cross-age tutoring:
learning of academic skills
· The development of social behaviors and classroom discipline
· Enhancement of peer relations
· Improved self-esteem
· Improved internal locus of control
· A more cooperative and pleasant classroom atmospheres
· The recruitment of future teachers into the profession
· Students who acquire skills transferable to employment or
· Students who acquire skills transferable to parenting
· Improved vocabulary skills
· Improved reading skills
Kalkowski also cites Levin,
Glass, and Meister (1987) who reported that peer and cross-age tutorial programs
are more cost effective when compared to the cost of Computer Aided Instruction
(CAI), increasing the length of the school day, summer school, or other school
Peer tutoring is effective
because the tutor can provide relevant assistance to the student, the information
is delivered in a timely and understandable manner, and the tutor provides an
opportunity for the tutee to use the new information (Webb 1989). A major reason
that peer and cross-age tutoring is effective is that tutors and their students
often speak a more similar language than do teachers and students (Hedin 1987,
Being closer in knowledge
and status, the tutee in a peer relation feels freer to express opinions, ask
questions, and risk untested solutions. The interaction between instructor and
pupil is more balanced and more lively. This is why conversations between peer
tutors and their tutees are high in mutuality even though the relationship is
not exactly equal in status. (Damon and Phelps 1989).
Gastaud (1993) stated that a major reason that peer tutoring is effective is that
peer or cross-age tutors who struggled academically in the past are often more
patient with students who are struggling currently.
The Peer Research Laboratory
(2002) stated that peer tutoring is a "strengths-based approach that emphasizes
students' assets and skills to help themselves as well as someone else. In peer
(tutoring), students are sent the message that they have something to offer other
students, something to teach."
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management (2002) reports that there are
over 500 research documents dealing with the effectiveness of peer and cross-age
A brief review of the research
list of proven instructional and administrative practices suggests some of the
actions teachers and schools can take to enhance student learning and other outcomes.
Peer tutoring, with its focus on monitoring, support, and corrective feedback,
represents specific means of implementing these practices. (Cotton 2002)
· Students at all grade levels participating in tutorial programs,
improved their reading performance more than the expected gain for the typical
student at that grade level. (AmeriCorps 2001)
· Peer tutoring usually resulted in significant cognitive
gains for both the tutor and the tutee. (Britz, Dixon, and McLaughlin 1989)
· In the areas of literacy especially, both the tutee in a
cross-age program, makes substantial gains in vocabulary, reading accuracy, self-correction
and comprehension. Cross-age tutoring programs are indeed very successful. (Marious
· In a study of middle school students, peer tutoring was
identified as a successful and appropriate educational intervention for readers.
· Cross-age tutoring is an excellent cooperative learning
tool and should be used daily in conjunction with classroom teaching. ( Thorpe
and Wood 2000)
· When children teach children, the result is marked improvement
in student learning which increases the productivity of the school. In peer tutoring,
students are "prosumers" - they are both producers and consumers of
education. (Peer Research Laboratory 2002)
· Peer tutoring is the most cost effective way to improve
both math and reading performance. (Peer Research Laboratory 2002)
· Effects on both tutors and tutees were positive in the areas
of learning, attitude toward subject matter, and self-concept. (Cohen and Kulik
· Peer tutoring is well worth the cost and effort when compared
with the costs of many alternatives that are teacher or computer mediated. (Greenwood,
Carta, and Kamps 1990)
· Seventy-one percent of the students in six remedial middle
school teachers' classes achieved 70% accuracy on criterion measures for four
out of five days, while 19% of the control students did, when tutored by four
of the best students in each class. (Palincsar and Brown 1986)
· Peer tutors are more effective for reading programs because
parents may not always be available or appropriate tutors; peer tutors are plentiful,
or available for training and can be readily monitored and organized; low-progress
readers respond readily to peer tutors; and tutoring is beneficial to tutors and
increases their caring for others. (Wheldall and Colmar 1990)
· Peer tutoring is cost effective, has a sound theoretical
basis and is effective has demonstrated a positive impact on student learning.
(Bartz and Miller 1991)
· Peer and cross-age tutoring contribute to a child's social
and cognitive development. (Benard 1990)
· Tutoring programs are more cost effective than increased
instructional time, reduced class size or CAI. (Berliner and Casanova 1988)
· Peer tutoring is effective, particularly for at-risk students.(Gaustad
· Validates the positive effects of peer tutoring. (Giesecke,
Cartledge and Gardner 1993)
· After six weeks of tutoring, 16 truant and tardy junior
high school students all made significant gains in locus of control and most showed
decreased truancy and tardiness. (Lazerson, Foster, Brown, and Hummel 1988)
· Peer tutoring also has benefit for the tutor. High school
students raised their own reading scores almost three years, during a five month
period, as a result of tutoring fourth graders in reading. (Peer Research Laboratory
What are essential elements of a successful tutorial program?
Why is there a need to provide structured training for tutors?
The design of an effective
tutoring program is dictated by its objectives, including age group targeted and
subject area, and by availability of human, physical, and financial resources.
Establishing specific, measurable objectives permits assessment of individual
progress and evaluation of the program's success as a whole. Frequent assessment
of student progress gives program staff feedback on the effectiveness of lessons
and encourages both tutor and tutee. (Gaustad 1993)
Gaustad (1993) continues
· Procedures must be established for selecting and matching
tutors and tutees.
· Tutors require training to accompany carefully structured
· Tutors require ongoing supervision and support.
· Tutors must learn from each other's experiences as well
as from the staff or director.
· Support by teachers and administrators is essential for
a tutoring program to succeed and be sustained.
The need for trained tutors is clear. Staub and Hunt (1993) concluded that trained
tutors had a significantly higher success with tutees than a control group of
tutors who were not trained.
The need for structured
and ongoing training is one key to the success of tutorial programs as reported
by AmeriCorps in a 2001 report. The AmeriCorps Tutorial Outcomes Study (2001)
cited the following practices as key to tutorial effectiveness.
· Tutors meet with students at least three times per week.
· Programs conduct formal evaluations.
· Tutors are trained both prior to and during the tutoring
does the TutorLink Peer Tutor Training Program fulfill the research mandate?
The TutorLink Peer Tutor
Training Program is a process that works in conjunction with your content and
curriculum. TutorLink works across all disciplines and for all age/grade levels.
TutorLink is based on the three basic elements of every successful tutoring program
as reflected in the research and professional literature: administrative vision
and organization; sound understanding of the tutoring process; and structured
training for initial and ongoing professional development of tutors and coordinators.
The three TutorLink guides
provide proven methods, practices, and protocols for delivering sound tutorial
assistance and for planning program growth.
· Define program goals, objectives and mission statement
· Analyze existing program and support
· Develop a leadership plan for all staff
· Identify target student population
· Identify and recruit tutors
· Determine location and materials needed for program
· Promote your program on campus and in the community
· Access the support of the National Tutoring Association
To The Tutoring Process
· Identify the causes of low grades
· Determine why students are challenged to succeed academically
· Discover proven tutoring methods and protocols
· Understand how to utilize forms for program tracking and
· Understand the Discovery Process
· Learn the 4 key steps to every successful tutoring session
· Learn how to gather and analyze data
· Understand the importance of the initial tutoring session
to Training Tutors
· Module 1: Orientation
· Module 2: The Tutoring Sessions
· Module 3: Tutoring Skills
· Module 4: Evaluating Progress
· The Tutor Code of Ethics
research is clear.
· Procedures must be established for selecting tutors and
· Tutors require structured training to learn and reinforce
key skill sets.
· Tutors require ongoing supervision and support.
· Tutors must learn from each other's experiences as well
as from the staff or director.
· Support by teachers, administrators, and community is essential
for a tutoring program to succeed and be sustained.
· Tutors must meet with students in a structured and scheduled
· Programs must conduct formal evaluations.
· Programs must document success in order to be sustained.
The World Book TutorLink Peer/Cross-age TutorProgram provides
each of these key elements for success. Practically driven and research confirmed,
TutorLink is an essential resource.
AmeriCorps. Tutoring Outcomes Study, AbT Associates, Corporation for National
and Community Service, February 2001. http://www.americorps.org/research/tutoring_0201.html.
Bartz, D., and Miller, L.K.
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Washington, DC: National Education Association, 1991 (ED 340 686).
Benard, B. The Case For
Peers, Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 1990.
Berliner, D., and Casanova,
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Britz, M.W.; Dixon, J.;and
McLaughlin,T.F. "The Effects of Peer Tutoring on Mathematics Performance:
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Cazden, C.B. "Classroom
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Wittrock. New York: MacMillan, 1986, 450-451.
Cohen, P.A. and Kulik, J.A.
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Elementary School." School Improvement Research Series. Snapshot #5. NW Regional
Educational Library. 2002.
Damon, W. and Phelps, E.
"Three Approaches of Peer Learning and Their Educational Uses." Paper
presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association,
New Orleans, LA, April 1988.
Fisher, D. "Cross-Age
Tutoring: Alternatives to the Reading Resource Room for Struggling Adolescent
Readers." Journal of Instructional Psychology 28/4 (2001): 234-237.
Gaustad, J. "Peer and
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Management, March 1993.
Gaustad, J. "Tutoring
At-Risk Students." OSSC Bulletin 36/3 (1992).
Giesecke, D.; Cartledge,
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Preventing School Failure 37/3 (1993): 34-43.
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