Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Literacy is an important life skill which must be mastered in order to actively participate in today’s society. The ability to read is arguably the most important aspect of literacy skills and as such it transcends subject areas. In consequence of this, literacy has become a major focal point of today's educational system. In classrooms throughout America, tutoring is implemented as a form of supplemental instruction. This is done under the assumption that tutoring truly is an effective means of increasing student achievement in the core curricular areas. As current research suggests that tutoring is an effective means of increasing students' skills in the area of literacy, particularly reading comprehension, this research study explores that truth. Specific focus is given to identifying which format, direct tutoring or peer tutoring, is more effective for increasing student achievement within the realm of reading comprehension of middle school-aged students. This study was conducted in an urban school district where less than half of the student population tests at the proficiency level on the 6th grade New York State English Language Arts (ELA) Exam. The heterogeneous sample group of twenty sixth grade students was randomly assigned to one of two experimental groups; a peer tutoring group and a direct tutoring group. The students for the two groups were pulled from all three of the ability-grouped sixth grade homerooms with a representative number of male and female students to eliminate gender as a possible construct. Peer tutors were selected and trained on the procedures and routines of tutoring. The study was conducted over eight, one-hour tutoring sessions. Research data includes pre and post-test assessments, student journals, and observational notes regarding student levels of engagement, on-task behavior, and their active participation in the tutoring session. Research data reports that while students in both groups increased in reading comprehension literacy, students in the peer tutoring group had a greater change overall. This suggests that peer tutoring may be more effective in increasing the reading comprehension achievement of middle school students in urban populations.


Abstract created by repository to aid in discovery.