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Classwide Peer Tutoring


The Classwide Peer Tutoring Program (CWPT) was developed to improve early academic competence for children living in low-income areas. It is an instructional model based on reciprocal peer tutoring that can be used at any grade.

The program has been designed to be flexibly incorporated into school curriculum. Students are pre-assessed on Fridays on their next week’s work. From Monday to Thursday, they work with an assigned partner, taking turns tutoring each other on their spelling, maths, and reading, and reading comprehension. Points are awarded for both tutor and tutee. At the end of each week, students are individually tested on the week’s work and pre-tested on the next week’s work.

Evaluation Evidence

The program has been found to have lasting outcome benefits on academic competence at least three years later. Evaluation has shown that students who participate in CWPT in Grade 1 have better comprehension in that grade than students in Grade 2 who have not participated in the program. Students who participate in CWPT are also 20 – 70% more likely to stay on task, remain engaged with all lessons and respond to the teacher. The program has been used successfully with many population groups including schools with many low-income children (e.g. Greenwood, Delquadri, & Hall, 1989; Kohler & Greenwood, 1990).

Monitoring Recommendations

  • At the planning stage Boards can request advice on how tutoring will be managed and monitored, as well as expected student participation rates and academic improvements.
  • Boards should negotiate agreements to receive regular progress reports.
  • Monitoring information should include: tutoring coordination; progress with class and student recruitment; number and length of tuition sessions; and academic progress for tutors and tutees.

Implementation Tip

CTC. Ltd. is interested in supporting Boards to innovate with trialling Classwide Peer Tutoring programs as a strategy for building relationships across different school populations that may vary in socioeconomic disadvantage. Assistance may be available with program design and evaluation tasks.


State Education Departments

For further information on delivery strategies go to:

Reading Rockets
W: article/22029/

Program details
Target Audience: 
5 - 11 years
Target Risk Factors: 
  • Academic failure (low academic achievement)
  • Low commitment to school
Target Protective Factors: 
  • School opportunities for prosocial involvement
  • Schools rewards for prosocial involvement
  • Social skills
Community Indicators: 
  • Low parental education
  • School truancy
  • Low income, poor housing, unemployment