Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Kuder, Sydney J.

Committee Member 1

Accardo, Amy

Committee Member 2

Shuff, Midge


Arithmetic--Study and teaching; Children with disabilities--Education


Science and Mathematics Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to determine if the math fact knowledge and recall of students with disabilities improved when they acted as tutors in cross-age tutoring situations. I hypothesized that students with disabilities would exhibit increased recall, improved engagement and enhanced self-concept when they took on the role of expert. All the participants in our study were special education students with Individualized Education Plans and met for 15 three-minute tutoring sessions. The tutor and tutee did not change roles. Addition fact cards were presented and tutees were given a pre-determined amount of time to answer. All participants were given probes on three separate occasions: first to establish a baseline, then at the conclusion of the intervention, and finally, three weeks later to measure retention of skills.

The math fact knowledge of all increased markedly. Tutors increased by at least 67%; the tutees increased by no less than 79%. The target group exhibited behaviors consistent with a mentor or teacher, redirecting the behavior of their younger counterparts when necessary and were invested in the collaborative work. The students with disabilities made excellent tutors and were able to handle the leadership role, improving their own self-image and the perception of others. Peer tutoring empowers students with disabilities to take charge of their learning and facilitate the learning of others.