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Using the right design to get the ‘wrong’ answer? Results of a random assignment evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programme

Using the right design to get the ‘wrong’ answer? Results of a random assignment evaluation of a... Academically focused tutoring programmes for young children have been promoted widely in the US in various forms as promising strategies for improving academic performance, particularly in reading and mathematics. A body of evidence shows the benefits of tutoring provided by certified, paid professionals; however, the evidence is less clear for tutoring programmes staffed by adult volunteers or college students. In this article, we describe a relatively large‐scale university‐based programme that creates tutoring partnerships between college‐aged volunteers and students from surrounding elementary schools. We used a randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of this programme for 196 students from 11 elementary schools over one school year, focusing on academic grades and standardised test scores, confidence in academic ability, motivation and school attendance. We discuss the null findings in order to inform the conditions under which student support programmes can be successful. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Children's Services Emerald Publishing

Using the right design to get the ‘wrong’ answer? Results of a random assignment evaluation of a volunteer tutoring programme

Journal of Children's Services , Volume 3 (2): 13 – Apr 12, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1746-6660
DOI
10.1108/17466660200800008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Academically focused tutoring programmes for young children have been promoted widely in the US in various forms as promising strategies for improving academic performance, particularly in reading and mathematics. A body of evidence shows the benefits of tutoring provided by certified, paid professionals; however, the evidence is less clear for tutoring programmes staffed by adult volunteers or college students. In this article, we describe a relatively large‐scale university‐based programme that creates tutoring partnerships between college‐aged volunteers and students from surrounding elementary schools. We used a randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of this programme for 196 students from 11 elementary schools over one school year, focusing on academic grades and standardised test scores, confidence in academic ability, motivation and school attendance. We discuss the null findings in order to inform the conditions under which student support programmes can be successful.

Journal

Journal of Children's ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 12, 2008

Keywords: RCTs; Design; Evaluation; Volunteer tutoring programme

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