THE ROLE OF PEER TUTORING FOR STUDENTS WITH AND WITHOUT DISABILITIES IN HIGHER EDUCATION
1 University of Thessaly (GREECE)
2 2nd and 7th Primary School Chalkida (GREECE)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:During the last years the number of students with disabilities in higher education has been increased. However, this increase presupposes the existence of support services so that students with disabilities have an effective access to higher education. Peer tutoring is one of the services. The aim of the present study is to explore the experiences of students who acted as tutors and tutees in a peer tutoring program that lasted for a year and aimed to enhance the access of students with disabilities in a higher educational setting. Ten tutors and four tutees with disabilities participated in the program. The participants’ experiences were explored a) through logs that both tutors and tutees had to complete during the year, and b) through interviews that took place at the end of the year. According to the results of the study, the participants felt that the peer tutoring program entailed several benefits in conjunction with several difficulties. Specifically, the academic and social access of the tutees was enhanced while the tutors developed skills and knowledge regarding effective practices that facilitated the tutees’ access. The participants faced some difficulties in defining the type of relationship among them because both tutors and tutees were at the same age and their relationship was neither a professional, nor a friendly one. Finally, the researchers concluded that the peer tutoring program can be a valuable support service for students with disabilities regarding their academic access and a source of social interaction between students with and without disabilities.
Keywords: Students with disabilities, higher education, peer tutoring.