Peer tutoring allows students to work collaboratively in pairs, supporting and challenging each other toward a common goal.
Teachers considering grouping students in this manner should take into account what Rogers 2002 describes as the inverse relationship between self-esteem and motivation, where gifted and talented students have high self-esteem but less motivation when paired with a lower ability peer.
Significant achievement gains, according to Rogers 2002, are found in high ability students placed in like-ability peer tutoring sets; no gains are reported in gifted and talented students paired with lower ability learners, p. 244. Low ability dyads require more guidance.
Carter, G & Jones, M.G. (1994 October). Relationship between ability paired interactions and the development of 5th graders concepts of balance. Journal of research in Science Teaching, 31, 847-856.
Clark, B. (2008). Growing up gifted. Pearson Education Inc. Upper Saddle New Jersey.
Park, S., & Oliver, J. (2009). The translation of teachers' understanding of gifted students into instructional strategies for teaching science. Journal Of Science Teacher Education, 20(4), 333-351.
Robinson, A., Shore, B. & Enersen D. (2007). Best practices in gifted education. Prufrock Press. Waco Texas.
Rogers, K.B. (2002). Re-forming gifted education. Great Potential Press. Scottsdale, Az.