Chapter 8: Promoting Inclusion with Classroom Peers

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Upon completion of this section the learner will:

  • Gain an understanding of the advantages and potential limitations of cooperative learning.
  • Compare the various types of cooperative group arrangements and activities.
  • Compare and contrast the uses and features of cooperative learning and peer tutoring.
  • Describe important teacher functions when employing cooperative learning.
  • Gain an understanding of peer tutoring and the benefits to tutors and tutees.
  • Describe and evaluate different types of peer tutoring programs (cross-age, same-age, and classwide).
  • Describe the procedures for effectively employing a peer tutoring program.
  • Compare and contrast peer assistance and peer tutoring.



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Part 2: Summary of Ideas

General education classroom students can facilitate successful inclusion of students with special needs.



Peers can be taught a variety of strategies that involve students helping each other during classroom and school activities.

Peer assistance can be used to promote inclusion of students with a variety of special needs.

Circle of Friends and Special Friends are training programs that can promote classroom acceptance of students with disabilities or other special needs.

Peer assistance refers to pairing students for the purpose of having one student available to assist another student when necessary.

It is important to identify the situations that require peer assistance, appropriately train students, match peer assistants and buddies carefully, and monitor progress and modify as necessary.

Tutoring is a powerful tool in improving classroom performance, and it can also be very helpful in addressing diverse learning needs in inclusive classrooms.

Tutors and tutees both can gain academically and socially from tutoring interventions, although the procedures and outcomes should be carefully monitored.

Classwide peer tutoring is one of the most highly recommended strategies for promoting achievement among diverse groups of learners.

Cooperative learning is another strategy that can improve achievement and social integration of diverse learners.

Cooperative learning interventions require specifying objectives, making placement decisions, explaining the task, monitoring effectiveness, and evaluating student achievement.

A variety of formal and informal procedures for cooperative learning can be employed to address a variety of classroom situations.

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Chapter Activities

One of the most recommended strategies for promoting achievement among diverse groups of learners in classwide peer tutoring.




Read Chapter 8 in the text. Use the Chapter 8 Graphic Organizer to "see" the big ideas in the chapter. Fill in blank sections of the graphic organizer.


Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 8. Print out useful information and add it to your class notebook.


Cooperative Learning Center at the University of Minnesota



Tom Snyder Productions- Interactive Groupware




International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education




New Horizons for Learning: Teaching and Learning Strategies



Cross Age and Peer Tutoring ERIC Digest





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