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Peer Conferencing: Adding a Collaborative Component to Graduate and Undergraduate University Reading Clinics

Advanced Literacy Practices

ISBN: 978-1-78190-503-6, eISBN: 978-1-78190-504-3

Publication date: 4 January 2013


Purpose – This chapter provides the reader with a discussion of a peer-conferencing component, called “cadre conferencing,” which was incorporated into undergraduate and graduate reading clinics. University students were placed into cadres based on the grades of the children they were tutoring. Cadres met during scheduled class time to discuss assessments, strategies, and materials.

Design – Graduate and undergraduate students were asked to provide feedback about the cadre conferencing model. They identified what they liked about the peer conferencing and what changes they would make. The feedback was used as a way for the faculty member to evaluate an instructional change in existing courses.

Implications – Both graduate and undergraduate students reported benefits to the cadre conferencing component. Graduate students were in-service teachers who reported that they benefited most from sharing ideas about strategies and materials. Undergraduate students reported that they benefited from sharing ideas, but also from the personal support they experienced from members of their cadre. Both groups recommended that cadre conferencing continue to be included in the two courses.

Practical and social implications – Observations of the cadres in their meetings and feedback from a course survey indicate that peer conferencing can be a powerful tool for groups of educators. The model would transfer best into programs that are designed to include shared decision-making and peer collaboration. Schools that adopt a professional learning communities model or team-teaching approach could integrate the cadre conferencing into their existing group structures.



Dee Garrett, S. and Juarez, L.M. (2013), "Peer Conferencing: Adding a Collaborative Component to Graduate and Undergraduate University Reading Clinics", Ortlieb, E. and Cheek, E.H. (Ed.) Advanced Literacy Practices (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 353-365.



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