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Early language and literature; Peer Assisted Learning Strategies.

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What are the benefits of Peer Assisted Learning Strategies?

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Hello, and welcome to BrainMass. I have an abstract here that gives some data, and then I will use my own experience to show how this works well in today's diverse and overpopulated classrooms.

Peer-assisted learning interventions with elementary school students: A meta-analytic review.
By Rohrbeck, Cynthia A.;Ginsburg-Block, Marika D.;Fantuzzo, John W.;Miller, Traci R.
Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol 95(2), Jun 2003, 240-257.
"A meta-analytic review of group comparison design studies evaluating peer-assisted learning (PAL) interventions with elementary school students produced positive effect sizes (ESs) indicating increases in achievement (unweighted mean ES = 0.59, SD = 0.90; weighted ES, d = 0.33, p < .0001, 95% confidence interval = 0.29-0.37). PAL interventions were most effective with younger, urban, low-income, and minority students. Interventions that used interdependent reward contingencies, ipsative evaluation procedures, and provided students with more autonomy had higher ESs. Adequate descriptive information was missing in many studies. Researchers are encouraged to develop PAL interventions in collaboration with practitioners to maximize those interventions' use and effectiveness and to include more detailed information about students, schools, and intervention components in their reports." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)

We can see from this abstract and others I found, that teachers are not taking much data on this, or have not up to this time (2010). I can provide some anecdotal evidence to prove that students were at least more engaged in these activities. Less students were staring into space or placing their heads down on the table and not learning anything.

In the classes I have taught myself or assisted, I noticed that when a class was put into small groups to learn either History or Literature, that students with higher degrees of comprehension were able to provide an additional story, in the language of their peers. We have a very diverse population in Urban settings. Not only by race or language, but by skill level and type of learning style. Here are a few examples of where peer assisted learning has created a ...

Solution Summary

The benefits of peer assisted learning strategies are examined.

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