Peer tutoring in writing: A school systems approach

John Medcalf, Ted Glynn, Dennis Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this study seven 10-year-old to 11-year-old students peer-tutored seven six-year-old students in writing over a 10-week period. Tutoring took place over 20-minute sessions four times per week in the six-year-old students' regular classes during their usual writing time. The first author trained the tutors to assist tutees to (1) produce a writing plan, (2) use the plan to develop a piece of writing with help from the tutor, (3) proof-read writing samples for meaning and accuracy, and (4) prompt tutees to make editing changes to their writing by asking appropriate questions. Samples of the writing of tutors and tutees were compared at baseline, intervention and follow-up phases and the attitudes of participants towards the programme were evaluated. Unlike most peer tutoring programmes the study relied largely on intrinsic motivation for student participation, and utilised a procedure that required responsive feedback by tutors and a problem-solving approach rather than a constrained linear methodology. Results indicated gains in terms of writing rate, accuracy, and audience ratings of clarity of message and enjoyment of writing, for tutors and tutees. Issues of programme maintenance and generalisation within the school system are discussed in addition to the implications for inclusive educational practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-178
Number of pages22
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

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