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Research on small-group tutoring shows good results for math scores

3Asha.jpgTwo years ago, educational psychology professor Asha Jitendra began working with 13 elementary schools in Minneapolis to investigate the effectiveness of small-group tutoring intervention in improving the mathematics problem-solving performance of struggling third graders. Now this effort is showing promising results in schools such as Lake Nokomis Community School, where she was recently conducting training (see photo).

With funding from a National Institutes of Health Challenge Grant in 2009, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, Jitendra and her staff began Project MAPPS to evaluate the effectiveness of a fully developed tutoring intervention called Schema-Based Instruction. They have been pleased to see improvement in students' Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) math scores, which can be attributed to the small-group tutoring component. Even as the funded component of the study is ending, Jitendra is continuing to provide training to groups of tutors in hopes of continuing the progress.

"It is a both a privilege and a pleasure to watch one's work come full circle, evolving from a mere idea to reality in the classroom," says Jitendra, who is the Rodney Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in the Department of Educational Psychology.

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