Collaboration and Cross-Age Peer Tutoring for Lucy
Collaboration provides many potential benefits and few drawbacks for parties involved in the Lucys education. Mr. Allens first grade class achieve educational goals as well. Mr. Allen and Ms.
Harris have joined forces to form an educational environment that facilitates learning for both the first grade class and Lucy. The objective is to provide a win-win situation for everyone involved. The obvious benefits are areas of academic enhancement. Particularly, language arts areas include story grammar, comprehension, identification of sight words, acquisition of vocabulary, and general reading skills. Mostly positive results were found for both short- and long-term cross-age peer tutoring. However, although some benefits of cross-age peer tutoring are not necessarily considered academic, they are nevertheless important for a child with moderate cognitive disability and for children without cognitive disabilities.Order now
The cross-age peer tutoring model appears functional for all students involved. More importantly, integral work between teachers makes Lucys educational network a possibility.
Teachers consider several factors before developing a strategy like cross-age peer tutoring. Lucy has strengths and weaknesses that contribute to her overall consideration for cross-age peer tutoring. Obviously, teachers try to focus on strengths while improving weaknesses. Because Lucy is moderately retarded, she may exhibit learned helplessness to some degree.
The MR label in itself can contribute to learned helplessness. If Lucy exhibits this behavior, cross-age peer tutoring could teach her be more confidant when approaching a task. Lucys time in the first grade classroom also gives her a chance to move away from outer-directness as a way of problem-solving. She will gain confidence from feedback of the students and teachers that serve as positive reinforcers for her to make decisions by her own motivation and choosing. Research shows that high-needs students benefit significantly from cross-age and peer tutoring in areas including self-esteem, locus of control and social skills. If Lucys attitude toward school is positive, she is also more likely to graduate.
Some or all of these benefits could have played some role in the collaborative effort to enhance Lucys education by cross-age tutoring.
Lucys teachers collaborate to try to provide the education she needs without the stigma of being different. A resource room is always a stigma of sorts. While in the classroom, Lucy provides a cyclical relationship between herself and the younger students. In the cross-age tutoring model, Lucy can further benefit from the repetition needed to tutor her first grade tutees. Repetition is important for MR students and those learning a new skill.
A repetitious schedule, reading materials, classroom activities, etc. promotes memory retention for MR students. Lucy learns to stay on task as she monitors the younger students being on task. Cross-age tutoring works because tutors and tutees speak a more similar language than do teachers and students. Unlike adult-child instruction, in cross age tutoring the expert party is usually not very far removed from the novice party in authority or knowledge; nor has the expert party any special claims to instructional competence. Such differences affect the nature of discourse between tutor and tutee, because they place the tutee in a less passive role than does the adult/child instructional relation.
The students without high-needs accept Lucy because she is on their level of cognition; thereby, improving social relations between students with and without disabilities. Being closer in knowledge and status, the tutee in a peer relation feels freer to express opinions, ask questions, and risk untested solutions. This is why conversations between peer tutors and their tutees are beneficial even though the relationship is not exactly equal in social status. Both Lucy and the first graders have gained academically (repetition and practice) and socially (self-determining behavior and social acceptance) in the cross-age tutoring model.
Although many educators favor and embrace cross-age tutoring model some criticism still remains. More specifically, criticisms of students with high-needs as tutors are noted: (1) Strategies utilizing students with disabilities as tutors were insufficiently developed and validated; (2) peer tutoring procedures other than “specific cooperative learning strategies, cross-age tutoring, the tutor ‘huddle’ and classwide peer tutoring” were insufficiently validated; (3) the fidelity of peer-tutoring interventions had not yet been examined carefully enough; (4) few peer-tutoring procedures had been compared to alternative teacher- or materials-mediated .