Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Total Class Peer Tutoring and Interdependent Group Oriented Contingency: Improving the Academic and Task Related Behaviors of Fourth-Grade Urban Students

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Total Class Peer Tutoring and Interdependent Group Oriented Contingency: Improving the Academic and Task Related Behaviors of Fourth-Grade Urban Students

Article excerpt


This study investigated the effects of Total Class Peer Tutoring (TCPT) and an interdependent group oriented contingency (GOC) on the social studies performances and off-task behaviors of eight general education fourth-grade students in an urban elementary school. An A-B-BC-B-BC design was implemented to evaluate the differential effects of TCPT alone and TCPT in combination with the GOC procedures (TCPT+GC). The results of this study showed that seven of eight target students improved their social studies performances and reduced off-task behaviors during either TCPT or TCPT+GOC conditions compared to the baseline phase in which the traditional teacher-lectured instruction was provided. No clear differential effects between the two treatments were found. Only one student demonstrated clear on-and-off academic and behavioral performances across experimental treatments in that his social studies performance was higher and off-task behaviors were lower during the TCPT+GOC conditions compared to TCPT alone. In addition, a majority of students exhibited progressive improvements on social studies performances. The results from the consumer satisfaction questionnaires (teacher and parents) and interviews (students) revealed that the targeted academic and classroom behaviors were important, the TCPT as well as GOC procedures were appropriate, and the treatment outcomes were evident. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are discussed.


Children in poor, urban educational settings often exhibit the lowest levels of academic achievement, receive insufficient instructional programs, and experience high rates of school failure (Hart & Risley, 1995). Assisting low achieving students to engage actively in academic tasks and improve their academic performance as well as task related skills then becomes an important undertaking for urban school educators.

Whole class peer tutoring (also referred widely to as classwide peer tutoring) is one of the effective instructional methods that can greatly increase the level of active student responding and allow students the opportunities to receive more time on task, immediate and specific feedback, more practices in short periods of time, and positive social and academic supports (King-Sears & Bradley, 1995). The effects of whole class peer tutoring have been well established in increasing spelling performance (Greenwood, Arreaga-Mayer, Utley, Gavin, & Terry, 2001; Mortweet et al., 1999), reading fluency and comprehension (Kamps, Barbetta, Leonard, & Delquadri, 1994), sight words acquisition (Butler, 1999), social studies (Maheady, Harper, & Sacca, 1988; Maheady, Sacca, & Harper, 1988), health and safety (Reddy, Utley, Delquadri, Mortweet, Greenwood, & Bowman, 1999; Utley, Reddy, Delquadri, Greenwood, Mortweet, & Bowman, 2001), math skills (DuPaul, Ervin, Hook, & McGoey, 1998), academic engagement (Mortweet et al., 1999), as well as social interactions (Franca, Kerr, Reitz, & Lambert, 1990; Kamps et al., 1994). The effectiveness of whole class peer tutoring also has been extended to a variety of populations including students with behavioral disorders (Franca et al., 1990), attention deficit hyperactivity disorders (DuPaul et al., 1998), developmental disabilities (Utley et al., 2001), mental retardation (Mortweet et al., 1999), hearing impairments (Harrison, 2002), English language learners (Greenwood et al., 1997), high functioning students with autism (Kamps et al., 1994), as well as general education students (Maheady, Harper, Mallette, & Winstanley, 1991).

Among the well-established research studies on peer tutoring with whole class applications, researchers have developed and adapted the program with some variations. Two of the most common models are (1) Classwide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) developed by the researchers at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project in Kansas (Delquadri, Greenwood, Whorton, Carta, & Hall, 1986; Greenwood, Delquadri, & Carta, 1997) and (2) Total Tutoring developed by the faculty in Special Education Program at the Ohio State University (Cooke, Heron, & Heward, 1983). …

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