The Impressive Effects of Tutoring on Prek-12 Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental Evidence

84 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Andre Nickow

Andre Nickow

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology

Philip Oreopoulos

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

Vincent Quan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Date Written: July 2020

Abstract

Tutoring—defined here as one-on-one or small-group instructional programming by teachers, paraprofessionals, volunteers, or parents—is one of the most versatile and potentially transformative educational tools in use today. Within the past decade, dozens of preK-12 tutoring experiments have been conducted, varying widely in their approach, context, and cost. Our study represents the first systematic review and meta-analysis of these and earlier studies. We develop a framework for considering different types of programs to not only examine overall effects, but also explore how these effects vary by program characteristics and intervention context. We find that tutoring programs yield consistent and substantial positive impacts on learning outcomes, with an overall pooled effect size estimate of 0.37 SD. Effects are stronger, on average, for teacher and paraprofessional tutoring programs than for nonprofessional and parent tutoring. Effects also tend to be strongest among the earlier grades. While overall effects for reading and math interventions are similar, reading tutoring tends to yield higher effect sizes in earlier grades, while math tutoring tends to yield higher effect sizes in later grades. Tutoring programs conducted during school tend to have larger impacts than those conducted after school.

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Suggested Citation

Nickow, Andre and Oreopoulos, Philip and Quan, Vincent, The Impressive Effects of Tutoring on Prek-12 Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental Evidence (July 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27476, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3644077

Andre Nickow (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Sociology ( email )

1810 Chicago Avenue
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Philip Oreopoulos

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

150 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)

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Toronto, Ontario
Canada

Vincent Quan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

E60-246
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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