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Masters of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certification

Class-Wide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) - Topic 22

What is it?

Class-wide Peer Tutoring (CWPT) is an intervention in which all students within a classroom are arranged in pairs (one tutor; one tutee) to complete learning activities. Students earn points for competing teams by responding correctly to tasks. The system was originally developed to increase academic achievement in low-income schools and is based on research behind interventions that show improvements in the rate of acquisition of skills via peer-based interventions. The basic components of CWPT are (a) presentation of material that is to be learned or reviewed, (b) teacher created/provided materials to be completed, (c) different pairings each week, (d) pairing techniques (e) students engage in both roles (tutor and tutee) during each CWPT session, (f) team competition to earn the most points, (g) each team member aims to contribute points, (h) prompt responsive feedback provided by tutors when the partner make an error, (i) points earned are displayed for each student and team, and (j) reinforcement provided to the team with the most points. While acting as a tutor (provides prompt) or a tutee (provides response), students are engaged systematized and fast-paced activities in which tutors give consistent feedback to the tutees (See Greenwood et al., 1992; Greenwood & Delquadri, 1995).     

Why is it important?

CWPT has the potential to (a) be an effective classroom intervention to increase skill acquisition in reading (WWC, 2007),  (b) meet the needs of increasingly diverse classrooms, (c) be implemented with relative ease at the classroom level, and (d) be a socially valid intervention (Maheady & Gard, 2010).


Greenwood, C.R. & Delquadri, J. (1995). Classwide peer tutoring and the prevention of school failure. Preventing School Failure, 39(4).

Greenwood, C.R, Terry, B., Arreaga-Mayer, C., & Finney, R. (1992). The classwide peer tutoring program: Implementation factors moderating students’ achievement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 25(1), 101-116.

Maheady, L. & Gard, J. (2010). Classwide peer tutoring: Practice, theory, research, and personal narrative. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(2), 71-78.

U.S. Department of Education. Institue of Education Sciences. National Center for Education Evalutaion and Regional Assistance. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention report- Beginning reading: Classwide peer tutoring. (9 July 2007).

Web Links

Promising Practices Network

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

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