A. Thomas, Sarah M. Bonner, H. Everson
Nov 17, 2015
Educational Research and Evaluation
The Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC) is an instructional innovation developed to address gaps in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in urban high schools. The PERC model changes instruction from teacher led to peer led by bringing peer students into the classroom to lead small-group work. Our study sought to provide empirical evidence in support of the peer-led model as a means of improving STEM learning for tutored students in urban schools. We used propensity score matching to evaluate the innovation's impact on students’ achievement on standardized end-of-course tests in two 9th-grade courses – Integrated Algebra and Biology. Results suggest that by the 2nd year of implementation, enrolment in PERC Biology increased the likelihood of passing. Similar effects were not observed for PERC Integrated Algebra, but when comparing cohorts, we found that the 2nd year was twice as likely to pass as the 1st year. We discuss implications for programme improvement.