Introduction

The ground-breaking large-scale peer learning project which was implemented in almost all primary schools across the Fife Education Authority in Scotland came to a formal conclusion at the end of the 2007/2008 academic year having run for two terms in each of two academic years.

Recap

Peer learning in reading and maths was launched in Fife in November 2006.

The project covered 129 out of the 145 primary schools under the Education Authority.

Peer learning was implemented at same age and cross age levels with two strands of intensity at each level; light tutoring of one thirty minute session per week and intensive tutoring of three thirty minute sessions per week. Thus altogether there were 12 interventions at each level the idea being to find out which intervention would produce the most statistically significant outcomes at which level and hence worth taking forward for adoption across the authority.

Implementation and monitoring

Two Research Associates, one each for maths and reading, facilitated the implementation of peer learning in the schools with the help of classroom teachers as project partners.

Reading was taught by way of paired-reading while duo-log maths was the subject matter for the maths; learning materials were provided by experts from the University of Dundee.

The project was monitored while it was in progress, with data collected and analysed on a pilot basis to inform the implementation strategy. Video clips of peer learning in progress were shown to teachers and personnel from Fife authorities on selected CPD days during the implementation of the project.

Project Evaluation

An interim evaluation was carried out on a sub-sample of peer learners in the cross age category after two terms of peer learning in summer 2007.

The final evaluation of peer learning has been undertaken by researchers at the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University using the Centre's routine PIPS assessments.

The project was designed as a (Cluster) Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) and has been evaluated using the robust multi-variate multi-level modelling statistical technique. One Research Associate was employed to assist at this stage of the project.

Research Papers on the Fife Peer Learning Project

A number of interesting papers on various aspects of the Fife Peer Learning project have been written and widely circulated by way of presentations at national and international conferences and seminars and submission to reputable journal houses for publication.

Some of these are:

Tymms, P.B., Merrell, C., Andor J.,Topping, K.J., Thurston, A., & Miller, D.(2009) Improving attainment across a whole district: peer tutoring in a randomised controlled trial, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, April 13 – 17, San Diego, CA

Tymms, P.B., Merrell, C., Andor, J.,Topping, K.J., & Thurston, A. (2009) Improving attainment across a whole district: peer tutoring in a randomised controlled trial, European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction biennial meeting, August 25-29, Amsterdam.

Tymms, P., Merrell, C., Topping, K., Conlin, N. and D'Souza, E. (2007) Bridging the Gap Between Pupil Level and District Level Interventions, Seventh Annual International Campbell Collaboration Colloquium, London, June 2007.

Topping, K. J. (2009). A randomised controlled trial of reading tutoring: Outcomes and process. European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction biennial meeting, August 25-29, Amsterdam.

Thurston, A., Topping. K. J. , McGavock, K., Miller, D., & Conlin, N. (2009). A randomised trial of paired reading in elementary schools. European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction biennial meeting, August 25-29, Amsterdam.

Topping, K. J. (2009). A randomised trial of maths tutoring in elementary schools. European Association for Research in Learning and Instruction biennial meeting, August 25-29, Amsterdam.

Andor, J.B (2009) Improving attainment across a whole district: peer tutoring in a randomised controlled trial. West Scotland KTP Regional Seminar, Aberdeen.

Topping, K. J., Thurston, A., McGavock, K., & Conlin, N. (2009). Process and outcome in a large-scale study of reading tutoring. Paper submitted for publication.

Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Murray, P., & Conlin, N. (2009). Implementation process in peer tutoring of mathematics. Paper submitted for publication.

Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Murray, P., Henderson, S., Fortuna, C., & Conlin, N. (2009). Outcomes in a randomised controlled trial of mathematics tutoring. Paper submitted for publication.

Miller, D., Topping, K. J., & Thurston, A. (2010). Peer tutoring in reading: The effects of role and organization on two dimensions of self-esteem. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(3), 417-433.

Tymms, P., Merrell, C., Andor, J., Topping, K. J. & Thurston, A. (2011). Improving attainment across a whole district: Peer tutoring in a randomised controlled trial. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 22(3), 265-289.

Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Murray, P., & Conlin, N. (2011). Implementation process in peer tutoring of mathematics. Educational Psychology, 31(5), 575-593.

Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Thurston, A., McGavock, K., & Conlin, N. (2011). Peer tutoring in reading in Scotland: Thinking big. Literacy, 45(1), 3-9.

Topping, K. J., Miller, D., Murray, P., Henderson, S., Fortuna, C., & Conlin, N. (2011). Outcomes in a randomized controlled trial of mathematics tutoring. Educational Research, 53(1), 51-63.

Topping, K. J., Thurston, A., McGavock, K., & Conlin, N. (2011). Outcomes and process in reading tutoring. Paper submitted for publication (Educational Research).

Thurston, A., Topping, K. J., Tymms, P., & Merrell, C. (2011). Identifying a zone of optimal error correction rate in paired reading processes. Paper submitted for publication (Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research).

 

Durham:

CEM,
Durham.
Tel 0191 3344226.
https://www.cem.org/

Contacts

Peter Tymms (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Christine Merrell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Allen Thurston (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Fife:

Education Service,
New City House,
1 Edgar Street,
Dunfermline,
Fife KY12 7EP.
Tel 01383 609281.
http://www.fife.gov.uk/

Contacts

Nora Conlin (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Pat Caudrey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
David Orr (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Sheona Goodall (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Dundee:

Fife Peer Learning Project,
School of Education,
College of Arts & Social Sciences,
Nethergate,
Dundee,
DD1 4HN.
Tel 01382 464000.
www.dundee.ac.uk/fedsoc/centres/cpl

Contacts

Keith Topping (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
David Miller (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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