Effects of individual direct-instruction tutoring on foster children's academic skills: A randomized trial

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Children and Youth Services Review, 34(6), pp 1183-1189.

This study hypothesized that foster children who were exposed to an individualized tutoring intervention delivered by their foster parents would experience significantly greater gains in reading, spelling, and math than their counterparts on the intervention waitlist. A total of 77 children between six and 13 years from nine different child welfare organizations were randomly assigned to the intervention or waitlist group. The tutoring intervention required three hours per week of individual tutoring. The weekly tutoring included two hours of one-on-one instruction by the foster caregiver in reading, 30 minutes of the child reading aloud, and 30 minutes of step-by-step self-paced instruction with a CD-ROM in math. Children’s’ reading, spelling, and math scores were tested before and after the 30-week intervention. Results indicate that the intervention group faired significantly better than the waitlist group in sentence comprehension and math computation. Non-significant effects were found in the areas of word reading, reading composite, and spelling scores. 

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