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Effects of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Reading with and without Training in Elaborated Help Giving

Lynn S. Fuchs, Douglas Fuchs, Sarah Kazdan and Shelley Allen
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 99, No. 3 (Jan., 1999), pp. 201-219
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1002313
Page Count: 19
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Effects of Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies in Reading with and without Training in Elaborated Help Giving
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Abstract

In this study we examined how preparation in elaborated help giving affects students' helping behavior and learning in reading. Primary- (grades 2 and 3, n = 15) and intermediate- (grade 4, n = 9) level classrooms were assigned randomly to a contrast treatment or to collaborative reading activities with or without preparation in elaborated helping. Teachers conducted training and implemented treatments for 21 weeks. From each class we pre- and posttested the reading comprehension performance of 3 students representing points on the achievement continuum, and we coded helping behavior during classroom observations. Across grade levels, students who prepared for elaborated help giving corrected more errors and engaged in more elaborated helping; across treatments, intermediate students demonstrated more correcting and more elaborated help giving than did primary counterparts. In reading comprehension, intermediate students improved more with elaborated helping, but primary students improved more without elaborated help giving. We discuss findings in terms of developmental stages of reading and teachers' use of group work in reading.

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