Schools continue their efforts to concurrently support the academic and social–emotional needs of students. Peer-tutoring programs are frequently used to effect positive change for students in a variety of academic and social–emotional domains. In addition, these programs are often used to target specific students or needs on a school campus. School social workers are uniquely suited to consider, implement, and evaluate programs targeting multiple student outcomes.
In a recent issue of the journal Children & Schools, published by NASW Press, researchers presented a case example of a Learning Together, Math Together program implemented in a K–8 school in a small school district in Southern California. Quantitative data were gathered at three times during one school year. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and class coordinators during the school year, and observations from members of the research team were gathered. Participants included 60 tutors, 45 tutees, three class coordinators, and two program coordinators. Tutors were sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students; tutees were fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade students.
The results indicated that the program met student expectations, and parents were also satisfied. Teacher reports indicated small academic improvements, but many indicated larger social–emotional improvements. Teacher feedback was also used to create suggestions for improving subsequent implementation of Learning Together.
The journal Social Work is a benefit of NASW membership. It is available online or, at a member’s request, in print. Children & Schools, Health & Social Work and Social Work Research are available by subscription at a discounted rate for NASW members, either online or in print. You can find out more about the journals and subscriptions at this link.