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Cross-Age Teaching

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 1999
8 pages
Publication Series
Cross-age teaching occurs when skills and knowledge are shared between age groups to achieve results across a broad spectrum, including crime and drug prevention, traditional academic subjects, and special skills.
Teaching crime and drug prevention skills, such as how to resist peer pressure, directly helps students learn about safe behaviors and avoid crime. Teaching academic subjects and providing training in special skills indirectly helps prevent or reduce crime. Cross-age teaching can strengthen academic abilities of students and help them improve performance, gain confidence, and experience success. With these positive results, students may enjoy school more and become more involved in their studies and school activities and be less likely to drop out of school. Further, cross-age teaching can provide a sense of belonging to teaching volunteers and students who feel left out, lonely, or uncomfortable in large groups and traditional school environments. The following steps in planning and implementing a cross-age teaching program are outlined: determine the focus, find students, research the subject, develop lesson plans, seek advice, and conduct practice teaching sessions. Guidelines to sustain cross-age teaching programs are offered, challenges and rewards in planning and implementing such programs are noted, and program evaluation procedures are considered.

Date Published: July 1, 1999