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Peer-Enabled Restructured Classrooms: A Field Trial Experiment Leading to a Successful Model for the Urban Classroom

Abstract

This paper addresses the following claim(s):

"CLAIM #1: The problems facing teachers in the urban science or math high school classroom are daunting. It is possible that the urban classroom has become so complex that it is unreasonable to expect a typical teacher to produce the required student outcomes. Just as the medical operating room is considered too complicated for a single physician to manage, it is our assertion that the urban high school science or mathematics classroom has become too complicated to expect a typical teacher to be successful. Even with exceptional teacher education programs and successful, albeit slow, professional development programs we postulate that it is impossible to build a workforce that relies upon the traditional classroom. Additional innovative solutions must be found.



CLAIM #2: Peer Enhanced Restructured Classroom (PERC) is a robust model for urban schools that contributes to closing the Achievement Gap.



CLAIM #3: PERC changes the participating teachers' concepts of what it means to teach and to be a teacher.



CLAIM #4: Effective peer teachers can be drawn from all academic cohorts including high performing, middle performing, and previously failing students. The peer teaching experiences produce profound changes in the peer teachers' self concept and academic preparedness.



CLAIM #5: A theory-based integrative model for motivation and learning (Levesque, 2006) can provide a context to understand why the PERC model is such a robust and effective classroom model. The PERC model is effective in satisfying the students' basic psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness.



CLAIM #6: The PERC model benefits ELL students even when teachers have not been trained in specific literacy strategies."

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