Effects of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on Academic Achievement and Social Interaction of Elementary Students with Emotional-Behavioral Disorders

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Title: Effects of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on Academic Achievement and Social Interaction of Elementary Students with Emotional-Behavioral Disorders
Author: Evans, Ruth Davis Yachan
Advisors: Douglas Cullinan, EdD, Committee Chair
Edward Sabornie, PhD, Committee Member
Ann Schulte, PhD, Committee Member
Susan Osborne, PhD, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to determine the effectiveness of an author-developed treatment, Teaching Ourselves Positive Skills (TOPS), to increase academic scores and positive tutoring behavior of elementary students with EBD. The multi-component intervention combined best-practice strategies for reciprocal peer tutoring, direct instruction, token economy, self-and peer-management, and planning for generalization. The ten-week study was implemented in a 4th-5th-grade classroom in a public separate school for elementary students with EBD. Six students participated in the program, although data were collected for two students only, those who met established criteria of documented academic and social behavior deficits and IQ scores above 70. They were 10- and 11-year old African American boys who were completing schoolwork at the 1st-2nd-grade level and were having substantial difficulty with peer relationships. A multiple probe across academic behaviors design was used to determine the effectiveness of TOPS in increasing scores in math and spelling. Accuracy with which the target dyad performed the intervention and interscorer reliability of academic probes were recorded. Student and teacher acceptability surveys were completed after training and at the conclusion of the intervention. A concurrent study examined whether positive tutoring behavior taught and reinforced during morning sessions of TOPS generalized to a second less structured setting during afternoon sessions. Academic scores increased from baseline to treatment phases for both students, although limited data points and divergent baseline trends suggest cautious interpretation of results. Single replications across addition facts and two sets of spelling words indicate a tentative relationship between TOPS and scores for both students. The dyad adhered to tutoring protocol with 85% accuracy overall. Interscorer reliability of academic probes was 100%. Positive tutoring behavior in the generalized setting increased substantially after students received explicit instruction in the second setting. Students and teachers found TOPS fun, easy, and beneficial for improving academics and peer interactions. Limitations and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Date: 2004-08-08
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Curriculum and Instruction
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3148

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