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Effects of Peer Tutoring on Hispanic Students’ Outcomes in Mathematics
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A critical problem facing Hispanic students in the United States is their low achievement in mathematics. Therefore, it is crucial to implement effective instructional programs that will improve their mathematics achievement. Peer tutoring is one effective research-based instructional practice that has been found to have positive effects on academic outcomes across grade levels and subject areas. However, few studies have examined the effects of peer tutoring in mathematics for Hispanic students. This dissertation consists of three research studies that examine peer tutoring for Hispanic elementary and middle school students in mathematics. Study 1 was a meta-analysis that examined the effects of peer and cross-age tutoring on academic achievement in mathematics for 3,035 participants in kindergarten through grade 12 across 21 experimental or quasi-experimental studies. The overall mean-weighted effect size for the 21 studies was 0.49 (p < 0.001, 95%, confidence interval = 0.34 - 0.65). Moderator analysis indicated that peer tutoring interventions were most effective for at-risk, low socioeconomic status, suburban, minority, and secondary school students. Study 2 investigated the effects of a cross-age tutoring intervention on elementary and middle school students’ academic and nonacademic outcomes in mathematics. Most students who participated in this program were from Hispanic and low socioeconomic status backgrounds. The results revealed statistically significant improvements in mathematics achievement. Large positive effects were found on basic mathematics facts (ES = 1.39) and problem-solving skills (ES = 1.25) among elementary school students and moderate to large effects on academic achievement of middle school students (ES = 0.67). Mixed results were found for enjoyment in mathematics and self-perceptions. Study 3 investigated the implementation of a cross-age-peer-tutoring program in elementary and middle schools serving predominantly Hispanic students. Classroom observations and face-to-face interviews were used to examine instructional practices and behaviors of teachers, tutors, and tutees during tutor preparation and actual tutoring sessions. The program’s strengths included the development of positive emotions and relationships among students and evidence of a classroom environment that fostered warm and supportive relationships. Weaknesses were related to lack of fidelity of the implementation of the program. Overall, findings from the studies included in this dissertation suggest that cross-age tutoring interventions are effective for improving mathematics achievement for Hispanic students. Positive effects of peer tutoring combined with lower cost of implementation compared to other programs make peer tutoring an educational alternative worth considering as a solution for improving mathematics outcomes among Hispanic students.
Barahona, Elba E (2016). Effects of Peer Tutoring on Hispanic Students’ Outcomes in Mathematics. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from