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The Effectiveness of Volunteer Tutoring Programs: A Systematic Review


Ritter G et al

Subject Keywords: School, Education, Tutor, Tutoring, Academic performance
Catalogue: Systematic Reviews
Campbell Reviews
Type: Article
Region: International (other)


Based on increasing demands for accountability in schools, school administrators are looking for ways to increase the academic performance of students including tutoring. Currently a variety of tutoring approaches are used including volunteer tutoring, peer tutoring, cross-age tutoring, and one-on-one tutoring. The evidence base related to volunteer tutoring has grown in recent years; consequently, this review is based upon only those evaluations of volunteer programs in which tutees were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. We found 21 studies (with 27 different study cohorts in those studies because several studies provided separate reporting on multiple cohorts) reporting on randomized field trials to guide us in assessing the effectiveness of volunteer tutoring programs.



Volunteer tutoring programs are intended to improve student performance, provide mentorship, and improve student self-esteem, as well as behavior. Despite the best of intention and effort, schools are not certain which volunteer tutoring programs are most effective. Therefore, we contend that a rigorous analysis of the extant literature regarding volunteer tutoring programs can provide schools with information about the most effective types of tutoring programs.


To assess the effectiveness of volunteer tutoring programs for improving the academic skills of student enrolled in grades K-8 in the USA, and to further investigate for whom and under what conditions tutoring can be effective.



Rights: © The authors
Suggested citation:

Ritter G et al. (2006) The Effectiveness of Volunteer Tutoring Programs: A Systematic Review [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 24th March 2019].


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