Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Linda M. Reven


One of the greatest challenges facing teachers of reading today is the negative attitude of students toward reading. One suggested means of positively influencing the reading attitude of students is cross-age tutoring. However, a study is needed to establish whether a clear link exists between cross-age tutoring and positive changes in reading attitude. Experimental research was conducted during the course of an academic quarter (nine weeks) to determine whether cross-age tutoring has a positive impact on reading attitude. The subjects of the study were first grade students (n=12). The first graders were identified for the study based on low scores on the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey. The first graders were placed in matched pairs based on their Elementary Reading Attitude Survey raw scores. Matched pairs were then randomly split into a control group (n=6) and an experimental group (n=6). The tutors were second grade students (n=6) identified through teacher interviews as being enthusiastic and skilled readers. During four 30-minute training sessions, the second grade tutors were trained to implement a two part instructional plan during each tutoring session. The instructional plan included sight word practice, word games, paired reading time with retelling, and testing in the Accelerated Reader computer program. Throughout the nine weeks of the study, the second grade tutors conducted two 30 minute sessions each week with students in the experimental group. During the tutoring sessions, first grade students in the control group engaged in typical independent reading activities such as sustained silent reading. All first grade subjects were retested with the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey following the last tutoring session. A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test was used to analyze the posttest data. In addition, qualitative data were obtained through observational rating scales of reading behaviors completed by a certified teacher acting as a teaching assistant in the classroom. Results indicate that students in the experimental group did show greater increases in reading attitude than those in the control group. However, the Wilcoxon test indicated that these differences were not statistically significant.