University of Ottawa Research Lauds the Maloney Method’s Effectiveness for Tutors
Researchers at the University of Ottawa recently submitted their conclusions from the RESPs for Kids in Care project. This project studied the effectiveness of using the Maloney Method as a tool for tutoring foster children. Read more to find out their conclusions.
We wanted to know whether and to what extent Maloney’s tutoring approach would allow foster children to make greater progress in reading and math than would be expected simply from an additional year of primary schooling.
Maloney’s (1998) Teach Your Children Well model uses direct instruction and well organized, step-by-step teaching materials. In a 6-hour workshop, Michael Maloney trained the foster parents in the intervention group at the beginning of year one and the control-group foster parents at the beginning of year 2. He also provided regular opportunities for coaching (e.g., individual telephone consultations, monthly telephone seminars, and newsletters).
The results of this RFT were encouraging. The tutored foster children made statistically and practically important gains in key aspects of reading and math, compared with the control group. This occurred despite the fact that we found that only about half (48%) of the children in the intervention group had received foster-parent tutoring that we considered of high fidelity.
The Maloney (1998) model thus appears to be implementable and effective with many foster parents and children, although not all.
Also, we believe that the Maloney approach would yield stronger effects if the foster parents were to receive more intensive initial training, took greater advantage of opportunities for individual or group coaching by telephone, and used the child reward system more systematically.
Overall, the findings of our RFT suggest that tutoring by foster parents is a feasible and economical way of improving many foster children’s academic skills in key aspects of reading and math.