The Differential Effects of Peer Tutoring and Peer Tutoring with a Group Contingency on the Spelling Performance and Disruptive Behavior of Fourth-grade in a general education classroom
Achievement gains from peer tutoring have been shown to be superior to those from traditional teacher instructional strategies. Due to the requisite high response rates, students remain actively engaged with academic materials and evidence greatly reduced levels of disruptive behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a class-wide peer tutoring system and an interdependent group contingency on the spelling/reading performance and the disruptive behaviors of targeted fourth-grade students. An ABCBC design was implemented to demonstrate the differential effects of peer tutoring alone and in combination with the interdependent group-oriented contingency. The group contingency was put in place throughout the school day to assess its effects on the students' behavior during non-peer tutoring periods. During the peer tutoring phases, students achieved higher spelling quiz scores and displayed lower levels of disruptive behaviors than during baseline. When the interdependent group contingency was introduced, disruptive behaviors declined even further during the peer tutoring sessions and began to decline during non-peer tutoring periods. The interdependent group contingency appeared to have modest effects on the students' spelling performance. The study findings and consumer responses to the questionnaires indicate that the use of effective instructional and behavior management procedures such as peer tutoring and interdependent group contingencies can produce beneficial outcomes for low-achieving elementary-aged urban learners.