ERIC Number: ED409281
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Cross-age Tutoring: Exploring Features and Processes of Peer-Mediated Learning.
Kermani, Hengameh; Mahnaz, Mahnaz
Researchers and two elementary teachers designed a cross-age tutoring program in which they examined the features and processes of peer interaction from a Vygotskian and Piagetian perspective. The study specifically focused on the following issues: characteristics of the tutor and tutee that are most likely to enhance learning; types of learning outcomes most amenable to cross-age tutoring; relationship between the task difficulty and the nature and quality of interactions between peers; and teaching strategies used by tutors during their scaffolding process. Ten cross-age dyads of fifth graders and kindergartners were paired by their teachers based on gender and teachers perceptions of children's academic ability as well as the school records. Meeting once each week for an hour, each tutorial session consisted of a warm-up activity (crossword puzzle), a major task (concept of measurement, concept of house as living space, two science experiments, and map construction), and an ending activity (card game). All dyads were video- and audio-taped for 5 consecutive weeks and the tapes transcribed verbatim. Results of in-depth and detailed analysis suggest that older peers can and do assist younger ones thinking in the course of tutoring, but also indicate that there are some limitations to how tutors can successfully scaffold to maximize tutees' learning. Excerpts from the tapes demonstrate specific patterns that emerged from analysis of the data. (Contains 5 tables and 13 references.) (JT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, March 24-28, 1997).