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Effects of PALS Math on Classroom Behaviors and Math Performance in Fifth Grade

  • Author(s): Zheng, Ruiwen
  • Advisor(s): Johnson, Austin
  • et al.

Frameworks like Response to Intervention (RTI) and School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) focus on the prevention and remediation of academic and behavioral problems. These frameworks require the implementation of evidence-based curricula and interventions, such that all students have access to effective approaches. Among teacher-led instructional and behavioral strategies, class-wide peer-mediated interventions and supports for children with academic or behavioral difficulties are promising (e.g., DuPaul, Ervin, Hook, & McGoey, 1998). The purpose of the proposed study was to examine the effectiveness of a peer-mediated intervention, Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) Math (Fuchs, Fuchs, Karns, & Phillips, 2009), on classroom behaviors and math performance of fifth-grade students with academic and behavioral difficulties. Three fifth graders with math and classroom behavioral difficulties in a Southern California school district were enrolled in the study. An ABAB design was proposed, but an AB design was completed due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s interference in data collection. The results indicated a potential positive effect of PALS Math in classroom behaviors, but the ultimate impact of the intervention on math performance is unclear. Limitations with AB designs, other threats to internal and external validity, and future directions of research were discussed.

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