Thesis Title

Intermediate Grade Reading: Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies Applied to a Teacher-Directed Program

Graduation Date

Spring 2004

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


This study compared two instructional strategies for teaching reading comprehension in two self-contained sixth-grade classes in northern California. One class, (Class A) received a peer-assisted learning strategies (PALS) based intervention which was applied to the teacher- directed reading program Open Court, while the control class (Class B) received Open Court’s model of teacher-directed instruction. The 28 students in Class A worked in dyads, as prescribed by PALS. They read the story from the Open Court weekly anthology and then applied three of the four PALS methods to their reading. The direct instruction of the PALS procedures lasted one week. When the actual reading of the text and application of PALS began, teacher guidance was minimal. The results from this four-week study compared the weekly comprehension scores from both classes and revealed that, although there was not a statistically significant difference between these small groups in this short time period, the students who received the treatment scored quite a bit higher on their comprehension assessments than those in the control group.

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