PEER TUTORING IN MATHEMATICS. IMPACT ON SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL VARIABLES IN A SECONDARY EDUCATION CLASSROOM

F. Alegre1, L. Moliner2

1Universidad de Valladolid (SPAIN)
2Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
Peer tutoring can be defined as a process that enables the acquisition of knowledge and skill through active help and support among status equals or matched companions. During this process all of the participants, that is, tutees and tutors, benefit from the transaction (Topping, 2015). This paper describes a research on peer tutoring carried out at a public high-school in Villarreal (Spain) during the Mathematics class. Proportionality contents were worked during the peer tutoring sessions in two 7th grade classes (percentages, rule of three, compound rule of three...). This experience lasted 4 weeks and 4 Mathematics sessions were held during each week. The impact of this methodology on social and emotional variables was examined. To this purpose, a mixed design approach was taken. For the quantitative part, a postest only with control design was taken. For the qualitative part, participant observation techniques were used. There were 20 students in the experimental group and 25 in the control group. The two variables analyzed during these experience were solidarity attitude and self-concept. Students in both groups were given the solidarity attitude questionnaire designed by Ortega and Minguez et al. (1992) and the self-concept questionnaire designed by Gil et al. (2006). Selection of these questionnaires was based on the fact that both had been previously validated and used in several research articles before (Alegre & Moliner, 2017). Although students in the experimental group outscored control group students in both variables, no statistical significant differences were found in both cases (Student's t-test = 0.42, p=0.68 for solidarity attitude and Student's t-test = 0.61, p=0.54 for self-concept). The qualitative results were very positive as some of the peer tutoring principles (cooperation, dialogue...) were boosted with this methodology. In fact, the effects of the peer tutoring program lasted several weeks after the experience. Students in the experimental group showed improvements on helping attitude, academic interactions with their peers and class climate