Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Earl Cheek


The purpose of this study was to observe students implementing Paired Reading with cross-age peer tutors and to describe the attitudes and perceptions of the tutors about the reciprocal effects of participating in this program. This study examined the following aspects of the fourth grade students' perspectives on the reciprocal effects of cross-age peer tutoring using Paired Reading: (a) the interactions of the fourth grade tutor with the kindergarten tutee during tutoring sessions, (b) the tutor's perception of the effectiveness of her role as a teacher using cross-age peer tutors, and (c) the students' attitudes about and perceptions of themselves as readers. This ethnographic multiple case study examined the interactions of cross-age peer tutors using Paired Reading and described the attitudes and perceptions of the tutors about the reciprocal effects of participating in this program. By giving detailed accounts of the fourth grade tutors, interactions with their kindergarten partners, analyzing their written reflections of the interactions, and summarizing their comments about their participation, this study extends the existing literature on the use of cross-age peer tutors, the use of Paired Reading, and students' attitudes and perceptions. The investigation provided valuable insights into the important impact Paired Reading using cross-age peer tutors had on students' perceptions and attitudes about reading. The study data indicated themes and patterns such as explicit instruction, modeled reading behaviors, feedback/reinforcement, and practice as factors which impact the effectiveness of Paired Reading using cross-age peer tutors. Each of the fourth grade students who were the focus of this study were provided the opportunity to experience success as a reader and use that success to assist her younger partner. Identifying the plausible relationships which shape this social interaction provided insight into how beliefs and attitudes impact the tutoring relationship. Knowledge of student perceptions about themselves as teachers and readers can assist in the implementation of effective instructional practices and may reduce failure of students in literacy acquisition.