Instructional Science

, Volume 45, Issue 4, pp 417–438 | Cite as

Effects of student-facilitated learning on instructional facilitators

  • Sarah M. Bonner
  • Jennifer A. Somers
  • Gwendelyn J. Rivera
  • Leslie S. Keiler
Original Research


We investigated perceptions about learning strategy use and instructional roles among a sample of high needs adolescents (n = 230) who acted as near-peer instructional facilitators. The sample was drawn from science and mathematics classes in nonselective public secondary schools in New York City. Students participated in an inschool intervention that draws on social constructivism, theory and research on metacognition and learning strategies, role theory, and empirical findings from the peer-to-peer learning literature to promote advanced achievement among students who act as facilitators. Using a pre- and post-test single group design, we surveyed student instructional facilitators before and after program participation and related their perceptions about learning strategy use and perceptions about teaching roles to data about academic achievement. We found no survey gains in student perceptions about learning strategies or instructional roles between pre-survey (fall) and post-survey (spring). We found small but significant effects of individual perceptions about learning strategies and teaching roles on academic gains among instructional facilitators. The study also suggests that an in-school near-peer facilitated learning program can be an effective means to raise achievement in urban high schools. The study provides partial support for theories that hold that metacognition and role perceptions are involved in the academic gains of instructional facilitators, as gains in these dimensions were small compared to achievement gains.


Peer learning Tutoring STEM Learning strategies Role theory 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1102729.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah M. Bonner
    • 1
  • Jennifer A. Somers
    • 2
  • Gwendelyn J. Rivera
    • 3
  • Leslie S. Keiler
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Educational Foundations and Counseling Programs, Hunter CollegeCUNYNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Pullias Center for Higher EducationUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Teacher Education, York CollegeCUNYJamaicaUSA

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