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Peer Tutoring in Special Education

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Peer tutoring in special education has been proven to be an effective teaching strategy for student tutors and tutees. Let's look at some of the benefits, challenges, and special considerations for establishing a peer tutoring program.

Peer Tutoring

Peer tutoring in special education is a strategy where higher performing students are paired with lower performing students or students with disabilities to review or teach academic material. This strategy has been proven to help students on both sides master content and gain self-confidence in specific skills. Peer tutoring has been implemented with students of all ages and levels in all subject areas. Introducing a peer tutoring program to help students with disabilities and their typical peers may be an effective and efficient way to boost academic achievement. Teachers and administrators should consider the different ways to implement a program as well as the advantages and weaknesses as they determine whether a peer tutoring program would be a good fit in their schools and classrooms.

Advantages of Peer Tutoring

Peer tutoring in special education can be an effective teaching method for all students involved. Let's look at some of the specific advantages.

  • Peer tutors become teachers, which increases their own understanding of the material.
  • Peer tutoring helps the students build relationships, which builds communication and social skills.
  • Some students with disabilities respond better to peers than adults.
  • Students with disabilities get more individual attention than one teacher can provide on their own.
  • Because of increased individual attention, students with disabilities also get immediate feedback and positive reinforcement more frequently, which results in higher academic performance.

Disadvantages of Peer Tutoring

Although peer tutoring has many strengths, there are also challenges that should be considered.

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