An Analysis of the Mathematical Impacts of a Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Initiative
CitationOhayon, Moshe. 2018. An Analysis of the Mathematical Impacts of a Cross-Age Peer Tutoring Initiative. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractCross-age peer tutoring is an instructional strategy in which older students serve as interventionists to improve the academic and attitudinal outcomes of their younger peers. Educational Justice, a nonprofit organization based in Louisville, Kentucky, is piloting an initiative called Educational Justice Activists (EJA) that implements this instructional strategy by pairing high-performing 9th-12th grade students with underserved 5th-8th grade students for weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions. By evaluating the EJA model impact on tutees participating in the initiative, this study seeks to identify academic performance trends in mathematics sections of standardized exams as well as shifts in attitudes towards school and learning, and, in particular, towards mathematics. According to the study, the effect sizes (ES) indicate that it is possible to improve both academic and non-academic outcomes among low-income 5th-8th graders using the cross-age peer tutoring intervention model of EJA. The analysis of academic assessments included 56 tutees and revealed gains in addition/subtraction (ES = 0.13) and multiplication/division (ES = 0.30). Survey data analyzed for attitudinal shifts among 44 tutees also showed effect size gains ranging from 0.14 to 0.43. The study further explored trends along two mediating factors: tutoring dosage and tutee grade. It was found that, for addition/subtraction, higher dosage (more than 13 tutoring hours) resulted in greater gains (ES = 0.20) than lower dosage (ES = 0.04); however, for multiplication/division, lower dosage (13 or fewer tutoring hours) resulted in greater gains (ES = 0.52) than lower dosage (ES = 0.32). Similarly, it was found that, for addition/subtraction, older tutees (7th-8th graders) showed greater gains (ES = 0.19) than younger ones (ES = 0.08); however, for multiplication/division, the younger students (5th-6th graders) displayed greater gains (ES = 0.42) than their older peers (ES = 0.21). The attitudinal survey results with respect to these two mediating factors were mixed.
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