Peer Tutoring

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The Effectiveness of Peer Tutoring with Associative Cognitive Aids on Long-Term Memory Storage


Peer Tutoring has been shown an effective learning strategy and innovate solution in multidisciplinary classroom structures. As teachers seek productive methods to incorporate meaningful learning and maintain efficient time management in the classroom, peer tutoring has been implemented as an effective option. Through the process of peer tutoring, the tutor and the tutee both gain individualized skills, immediate performance feedback, continuous progress monitoring, increased peer relationships and self-esteem improvement. With such a strong record of effectiveness, this study proposes an examination of the effectiveness of peer tutoring in relation to long term memory storage as students memorize the names of states and capitals with specialized association cards from the Bornstein Memory Institute versus standard 4x6 flashcards.

Utilization of Peer Tutoring with Visual and Verbal Associative Aids to Enhance Long-Term Memory Storage
As the emphasis of providing individualized instruction to students with differing learning abilities has developed in recent years, educators have encountered the challenge of meeting specific and individualized instruction goals in over-crowded classrooms with fewer resources. The need for positive social interaction within a more cohesive and productive educational atmosphere has led researchers and educators to formulate programs utilizing multidisciplinary collaboration to integrate all populations in the classroom (Heron et al., 2006). Peer tutoring is one such strategy (Pigott et al., 1986; Greenwood et al., 1991).

Endeavoring to build a cooperative learning environment in the classroom, wherein students work together toward a common goal with the result being an evidence-based education that meets each individual needs is the goal of a multidisciplinary collaboration (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 2008). Included in this collaboration is the utilization of peers as tutors to build academic and social support in the classroom. Both individual learning and cooperative learning is emphasized as the students work together toward a specific goal (Greenwood, Carta, Kamps, & Hall, 1988). As previous research has documented, the cooperative effort of learning builds self-esteem in the classroom, increases engaged academic time, provides immediate performance feedback for improvement, utilizes effective time management, and leads to greater academic gains (Topping, 2005; Greenwood et al., 1988; Ormrod, 2008).

With increasing research studies supporting peer mediated teaching as an effective implementation in academic and social activities, various methods of peer tutoring have developed. Authors Menesses and Gresham (2009) examine the efficacy of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT) and Nonreciprocal Peer Tutoring (NPT) for classroom students. In their study, the researchers investigated which program would result in greater academic gains for students at risk for academic failure. Developed by Fantuzzo and colleagues, Reciprocal Peer Tutoring (RPT) alternates students between the role of tutor and tutee during peer tutoring sessions (Fantuzzo, King, & Heller, 1992). Each pair of students work together to question, prompt, evaluate and monitor each other during specified academic skill learning. Nonreciprocal Peer Tutoring (NPT) incorporates one-way peer tutoring in which one student remains in the role of tutor while the other student remains the tutee.

Using math problems on 3” x 5” index cards, Menesses and Gresham (2009) conducted their study in elementary classrooms; random assignments of RPT, NPT or no peer tutoring (control) were assigned to each classroom. As predicted, the students participating in RPT and NPT outperformed the control group in academic gain but only the tutees in the NPT group showed significant increase in their peer tutoring pairs. Thus,...
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