A to increase academic engagement and achievement in math, reading, and spelling for general education and at-risk students;
to increase spelling achievement for general education elementary students and for students with mild disabilities in self-contained classrooms;
to increase social studies comprehension for junior high students with mild disabilities in a resource room setting;
and to increase reading achievement for high-functioning students with autism and their typical peers in an inclusive, general education classroom
Advantages and Disadvantages of Peer Tutoring
Based from the effects of peer tutoring that have been mentioned in the previous section, and from the number of studies conducted on peer tutoring, it is apparent that this teaching method for students with disabilities and special needs are beneficial and can support the improvement of their learning process and acquisition of knowledge and skills. Following is a summary of the advantages from peer tutoring.
Allows the student to participate. With the usual one-to-one peer-mediated teaching and learning, the tutee is guaranteed to have the attention of the tutor. Thus, the tutee is somehow obliged to listen and learn from the tutor.
Reduces the time for misbehaviors. Because the tutee is obliged to focus in his learning process, due to the one-to-one method of tutor/tutee partnering, spending time alone is decreased thus reduces and eliminates time for doing unnecessary activities that lead to misbehaviors.
Increases social interactions that are positive in nature. From the tutee's interaction with his peer tutor, he can develop a sense of belongingness and responsibility to another person.
Improves the overall academic ability, and behavioral and psychological capacity of the child with special needs. With a focused learning from the tutor, there is a possibility of an improved learning achievement of the child. Moreover, his behavioral attitudes and psychological views can be improved due to the good experience and learning relationship that he may have established with his tutor.
Peer tutoring does not only provide positive effects to the students but to the tutors as well. As indicated by Joseph Ryan (2004) and his colleagues,
In general, the authors found peer-mediated interventions produced positive effects on academic functioning for tutees, as well as for tutors under certain circumstances.
In contrast, there are no studies that reveal an unfavorable effect of peer tutoring to students with disabilities. However, theoretically, the following disadvantages may also exist out of peer tutoring.
Students with disabilities who find peer tutoring better than the conventional teacher-led instructions may result to a rejection of the conventional teaching method. This then may lead to a more serious problem in the learning process of the student.
For students who prefer the peer tutoring process, behavioral problems may arise when the peer tutoring program ended
Significance of this Research
The objective of this research is to identify the importance and effects of peer tutoring among students with disabilities and special needs. In an aim to better the teaching and learning procedures within special education environment, this research is significant because it strives to provide the information necessary for the goal.
Providing special education to special children is a task that requires a lot of devotion and commitment. Researches and studies, such as what this paper provides, is vital in the achievement of the special education environment's task. Without the information gathered from such researches and studies, the development of strategic teaching and learning procedures will not be possible. This is because it is only from the statistics of real experiences in special education can experts base the teaching and learning techniques that they develop.
In view of implementing different strategies to improve the learning process of special students with disabilities, it is hoped that with the information on peer tutoring that this research provides, the teachers and the people that surrounds the special student will find and understand which teaching strategy will best suit the student.
Peer tutoring was revealed to be effective and important by all researches and studies that relate to this teaching strategy. In regards to this, another significance of this research comes from the goal that if the strategy will be applied by teachers for assessment of the strategy, further factual data about the effects of peer tutoring can be established. Thus, providing more information on the subject.
Most research and studies found on the subject of peer-tutoring were evaluated by assessing the outcome of peer tutoring alone. For future research and studies, it will be more beneficial in the establishment of positive outcome on peer tutoring if this teaching strategy is evaluated along with non-peer tutoring teaching and learning process. In this way, the result of both processes can be concurrently compared.
To further confirm as to which disability or special needs does peer tutoring is best effective, another recommendation is to assess peer tutoring on a per disability basis. In this way, it can be established where techniques in peer tutoring can be improved to allow better learning to students with special needs.
Ryan, J. et. al, (2004). Peer-mediated intervention studies on academic achievement for students with EBD: a review. (Emotional and Behavior Disorders)
Remedial and Special Education, Vol. 25, Issue 6, pp 330-341.
Hunt, P., et. al. (2004). Collaborative teaming to support preschoolers with severe disabilities who are placed in general education early childhood programs.
A ics in Early Childhood Special Education, Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp 123-142.
Saenz, L., et. al. (2005). Peer-assisted learning strategies for English language learners with learning disabilities.