Grouping practices and reading outcomes for students with disabilities

Peer-reviewed article
(1999 Apr) Exceptional children, 65(3) 399-415


Elbaum B, Vaughn S, Hughes M, Moody SW


This meta-analytic review investigated the relationship between reading outcomes for students with disabilities (learning disabilities, behavior disorders) and the grouping formats (student pairs, small groups, combinations of different formats) used during their reading instruction. Twenty studies produced between 1975 and 1995 met criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. Results indicated positive effects for alternative grouping formats compared to whole class instruction; support for the efficacy of student pairing was particularly strong. In addition, analyses indicated that outcomes for students involved in cross-age tutoring varied significantly by students' role (tutor vs. tutee) within the pair. Implications of the findings are discussed with regard to classroom practice in the teaching of reading to students with disabilities