Based on the mean of responses regarding teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions, the following characteristics were implemented ineffectively, if at all, by tutoring programs in public schools (with rankings of 3- sometimes, 2-seldom, 1-almost never): These factors relate to the response from educators that it is difficult to find quality teachers to fulfill tutoring positions. Based on this conclusion, since the demand for tutors for low-achieving students may be high and the supply from which to chose is low, administrators may forgo screening in order to fulfill the position. As the literature suggests, one cannot assume that because a teacher is certified to teach, that he or she is qualified to tutor. To assume that teachers have the capacity to tutor without orientation to define specific guidelines and expectations provides a disservice to all parties involved. Teachers and administrators remarked in the open-ended response that it would be advantageous for tutors to receive an orientation and handbook prior to providing service. This factor is corroborated by the qualitative data in which educators reported a lack of funding and the resulting shortage of resources.
Parental involvement is essential if tutoring practices are expected to be reinforced at home for long-term results. Families should receive a portfolio to document that the student is progressing academically while receiving tutoring. Families should always have access to children’s books and resources that can be used at home. Most importantly, if family members lack the literacy needed to help their child, programs should be offered to encourage and develop adult literacy.
According to the mean responses of administrators and teachers, the following characteristics are frequently or almost always implemented within tutoring programs:
The following issues had different ratings for administrators and teachers. Hypothesis testing was conducted to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference in the responses of administrators and teachers. CETS item 5 yielded results that indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between administrators and teachers in rating item 5 on the Characteristics of Effective Tutoring Scale. Administrators and teachers should collaborate, perhaps within professional learning communities or similar cooperative atmospheres, to ameliorate any discrepancies for the indicators that are implemented on an inconsistent basis. Educators should revisit the school-wide strategic plan for tutoring and ensure that the aforementioned protocols are properly delineated.
Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Eunetra Ellison-Simpson, Dissertation Defense PPT.
Eunetra Ellison SimpsonMarch 2009PVAMU Educational Leadership Doctoral ProgramA Mixed- Method Analysisof the Effectiveness ofTutoring Programs inPublic Schools
Dr. William A. Kritsonis(Dissertation Chair)Dr. David Herrington(Member)Dr. Tyrone Tanner(Member)Dr. Camille Gibson(Member)Committee Members
OutlineI. The ProblemII. Purpose of the StudyIII. Theoretical FrameworkIV. Research QuestionsV. MethodVI. Major FindingsVII. Review of LiteratureVIII. Recommendations
THE PROBLEM Federally mandated public after-school tutoringis not always reaching the children its intendedto help, and when it does, it does not alwayshelp as much as it could (Toppo, 2008). Questions are being raised about theeffectiveness of tutoring for underachievingstudents, the accountability of tutors, andacademic return on this investment (Buczynski,2008).
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY The purpose of the study was to investigateadministrators’ and teachers’ perceptionsregarding the structure of tutoring programscurrently employed by public schools in thefollowing areas: (1) ProgramAdministration, (2) Program Design, (3)Family Involvement, (4) Tutoring Sessions.
RESEARCH QUESTIONS(Qualitative)1. What are the benefits ofimplementing a tutoring programin a public school as reported byteachers and administrators?2. What are the challenges ofimplementing a tutoring programin a public school as reported byteachers and administrators?
RESEARCH QUESTIONS(Quantitative- Descriptive Analysis)3. Which of the Characteristics of EffectiveTutoring are sometimes, seldom, or almostnever implemented in the tutoring programsof public schools according to the surveyresponse rates teachers andadministrators?4.Which of the Characteristics of EffectiveTutoring are almost always or frequentlyimplemented in public schools according tothe response rates of teachers andadministrators?
RESEARCH QUESTION(Quantitative- Inferential Analysis*)5. What difference exists betweenadministrators and teachers in rating thecharacteristics of effective tutoringprograms?* A t-test of independent means was applied toeach survey item to analyze the 2independent variables: administratorresponses & teacher responses.
NULL HYPOTHESES H1- There is no statistically significantdifference between administrators andteachers in rating the effectiveness of theadministration of tutoring programs in publicschools. H2- There is no statistically significantdifference between administrators andteachers in rating the effectiveness of thedesign of tutoring programs in public schools.
NULL HYPOTHESES (cont.) H3- There is no statistically significantdifference between administrators andteachers in rating the effectiveness of familyinvolvement associated with tutoringprograms in public schools. H4- There is no statistically significantdifference between administrators andteachers in rating the effectiveness oftutoring sessions in public schools.
METHOD(Subjects of the Study) Teachers (n=108) and administrators (n=14)were purposively selected to participate in thestudy. Faculty members (n=122) rated theeffectiveness of tutoring programs bycompleting an online, cross-sectional survey,Characteristics of Effective Tutoring Scale.
METHOD (cont.)(Research Design) Quantitative:Survey response rates were determined for each itemto determine the mean responses for teachers andadministrators.A t-test of independent means was calculated for eachcharacteristic to determine if there was a statisticallysignificant difference in the responses of teachersand administrators. Qualitative:Open-ended responses were coded for themes andtriangulate the quantitative data.
METHOD (cont.)(Instrumentation) The Characteristics of Effective TutoringScale was derived from a list of protocolsissued by the Corporation for NationalService. In developing this Guide, the authors havecarefully reviewed reading curricula and tutortraining materials as well as research studiesconcerning how children learn to read(Koralek & Collins et al., 1997).
METHOD (cont.)(Instrumentation) The protocols were converted into Likert-scale items in an online survey format to bedistributed to faculty members. Twenty-seven statements regarding programadministration, program design, familyinvolvement, and tutoring sessions areincluded in the cross-sectional survey.
FINDINGS: Qualitative ResearchQuestion #11. What are the benefits of implementing a tutoringprogram in a public school as reported by teachersand administrators?According to participants open-endedresponses, the benefits of implementing atutoring program include: providing extra attention and help forstruggling students, increased standardized test scores, and improved student self-efficacy.
FINDINGS: Qualitative ResearchQuestion #2What are the challenges of implementinga tutoring program in a public school asreported by teachers andadministrators?The challenges of providing tutoring programs are: deficient resources, overburdened teachers, cumbersome tutoring groups, low student morale, lack of consistency, and need for parental involvement.
FINDINGS: Quantitative ResearchQuestion #3Which of the Characteristics of EffectiveTutoring are sometimes, seldom, or almostnever implemented in the tutoring programs ofpublic schools according to the survey responserates teachers and administrators?
FINDINGSR.Q.#3: Ineffective Tutoring Practices in Public Schools:• Tutors are screened before acceptance into theprogram (CETS item 9, Program Design).• Tutors receive an orientation before they beginworking with children (CETS item 11, ProgramDesign).• Tutors receive a written job description and a tutoringhandbook that outlines the programs approach,policies, and procedures (CETS item 10, ProgramDesign).• The program has support from the private sector andlocal and state programs that support literacy (CETSitem 3, Program Administration).
FINDINGSR.Q.#3: Ineffective Tutoring Practices in Public Schools (cont.)• Tutors involve families in collecting items thatdocument the childs progress to be included in thechilds portfolio (CETS item 16, Family Involvement).• The program helps families gain access to childrensbooks and writing supplies (CETS item 17, FamilyInvolvement).• The program encourages families to develop orimprove their own literacy skills (CETS item 18,Family Involvement).
FINDINGS: Quantitative ResearchQuestion #44.Which of the Characteristics ofEffective Tutoring are almostalways or frequently implementedin public schools according to theresponse rates of teachers andadministrators?
FINDINGSR.Q.#4: Effective Tutoring Practices Key stakeholders such as teachers, school orprogram administrators, reading specialists, tutors,and families are involved in planning, implementing,and evaluating the program (CETS item 1). The partners can provide transportation, snacks,and/or information and referral for other supportservices that address child and family needs (CETSitem 4). The design is based upon or consistent with thelatest research on literacy and reading developmentand developmentally appropriate practice for earlychildhood education (CETS item 6).
FINDINGSR.Q.#4: Effective Tutoring Practices The program has systems for identifyingchildren in need of tutoring, recruitingvolunteer tutors, conducting pre- and post-tests of childrens skills, and conductingperiodic evaluations of program effectiveness,including feedback from stakeholders (CETSitem 7). Tutoring takes place in an open area where thetutoring pair can be observed at all times (CETSitem 22). Tutoring sessions are up to 60 minutes induration, depending on the age of the child andvariety of activities (CETS item 23).
FINDINGSR.Q.#4: Effective Tutoring Practices in Public Schools (cont.): Tutoring sessions are provided at leasttwice a week (CETS item 24). Tutoring sessions are divided into segmentssuch as: an opening activity to set thestage, activities based on individual learninggoals, reading practice, and a closingactivity (CETS item 25). Each tutoring session includes opportunitiesfor the child to experience success and toprogress toward becoming an engagedreader (CETS item 26).
FINDINGSR.Q.#4: Effective Tutoring Practices (cont.) Tutors and the program director, staff, andvolunteers regularly communicate andcollaborate with families, child care program orschool staff, and administrators (CETS item 8). Tutors recognize the importance of buildingrelationships with children and motivating themto want to read (CETS item 13). Tutoring takes place during school, after school,weekends, and/or in the summer (CETS item20). Tutoring takes place in an area large enough forchildren to concentrate without being disturbedby others (CETS item 21).
FINDINGS: Quantitative ResearchQuestion #5What difference exists betweenadministrators and teachers in ratingthe characteristics of effective tutoringprograms?
FINDINGSR.Q. #5: Inconsistent Responses Between Teachers andAdministrators• The partners have a proven trackrecord of working with children toencourage the development of literacyskills and/or have strong linkages withgroups that have this expertise (CETSitem 2).*• The program design is based onassessed needs, a well-defined missionstatement, and clear, measurable goals(CETS item 5).**• Tutors receive ongoing training,technical assistance, and supervision(CETS item 12).*
FINDINGSR.Q. #5: Inconsistent Responses Between Teachers andAdministrators• Tutors communicate with families regularly tokeep them up-to-date on their childs progress(CETS item 14).*• Tutors suggest home literacy activities suchas reading aloud and writing together (CETSitem 15).*• Tutors work with children one-on-one (or insmall groups of two to four children) (CETSitem 19).*• Volunteers are readily available (CETS item27).*
FINDINGSHypothesis TestingT-Test Results for CETS Subscales by Position__________________________________________________________Subscales t Sig. Mean Std.DiffeError Mean___________________________________________________________Programs arewell administered 1.19 .23 21.86Programs aredesigned effectively -.11 .91 -.44 4.09Families are involvedin tutoring processes .07 .94 .17 2.41Tutoring sessionsare effective -.60 .55 -1.3.14__________________________________________________________
FINDINGSHypothesis Testing Based on the results of the applied t-tests,hypotheses 1-4 are not rejected. There is nostatistically significant difference in theresponses of teachers and administrators onthe subscales of the CETS. However, when the characteristics wereanalyzed individually, the tabled t (.00) wasless than or equal to .05 for CETS item # 5. A statistically significant difference was notedbetween administrators and teachers on item#5.
Summary of Literature ReviewThe common threads throughout the literaturesuggest that in order to ensure that tutoring iseffective, tutors: must be equipped with ample training need relevant resources require evaluative feedback fromadministrators. (Ascher, 2006; Anderson & Laguarda, 2005; Buczynski, 2008;Coulter, 2004; Gewertz, 2005). Findings and conclusions implicated by thisstudy are supported by the existing literaturerelated to the topic of public school tutoring.
CONCLUSIONS The quantitative mean of all responsesalong with survey item #28 indicate thatteachers and administrators agree thattutoring programs are effective basedon their perceptions. However, tutoring programs in publicschools fall short of the highly effectivemark. No administrators (0%) rated theirtutoring program as highly effective.
CONCLUSIONS (cont.) A notable group of teachers (19%) andadministrators (20%) rated the tutoring programsimplemented on their campuses as 1- NeedsImprovement. If the characteristics that were deemed asinconsistent or ineffective are improved, tutoringprograms may receive a higher regard fromeducators.
CONCLUSIONS (cont.) There is a statistically significantdifference in the responses of teachersand administrators on CETS item 5“The program design is based onassessed needs, a well-defined missionstatement, and clear, measurablegoals”.
RECOMMENDATIONS FORFURTHER STUDY A study could be conducted with a larger sample andrandom selection to increase the generalizablity ofdata. A study may be conducted wherein data may becross-tabulated across school districts to inferwhether perceptions are different. A study could be conducted wherein responses ofpublic school educators regarding the effectivenessof tutoring programs may be compared to educatorsfrom the private sector and tutoring corporations thathave acclaimed significant academic results forchildren.
RECOMMENDATIONS FORFURTHER STUDY (cont.) A longitudinal study could be conducted tocompare the pre-test and post-test scores oftutees. This type of study is necessary todetermine whether students are ascertainingacademic gains after receiving tutoring andwhether the gains, if any, are significantlydifferent to eligible students who have notreceived tutoring at all.