ERIC Number: ED348447
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Motivating Disadvantaged Early Adolescents To Reach New Heights: Effective Evaluation, Reward, and Recognition Structures.
Mac Iver, Douglas J.
The Incentives for Improvement Program is an alternative student evaluation and recognition system that is responsive (all students have a realistic chance to achieve success) and challenging (students are not likely to succeed consistently unless they work up to their potential). The program's goals are to raise student performance and foster students' motivation to learn. An evaluation was conducted to determine whether the program accomplished its goals during its first year of implementation. Volunteer teachers from four Baltimore City (Maryland) middle schools participated in the program during the 1989-90 school year. The program's effectiveness in raising students' grades, probability of passing, intrinsic interest in their schoolwork, effort, and self-concept of ability was evaluated by comparing end-of-school-year outcomes for students in participating classes with those of similar students who were enrolled in the same courses at four other Baltimore City middle schools. To make these comparisons as precise as possible, pre-test adjusted outcome measures in hierarchical linear models were used. The results illustrate the substantial positive impact of individualized, improvement-oriented reward and recognition structures on students' grades in participating courses and on their probability of passing these courses. There was also a small positive effect of the program on students' self-reported levels of effort. The program provides an evaluative process in which educationally disadvantaged students share increased opportunities to experience success in a challenging curriculum by earning recognition for academic improvement and by building upon this improvement to earn better grades and higher passing rates. Teachers' expectations that students will succeed academically are a vital part of motivating and effectively teaching currently low-achieving students. Included are 25 references, 3 tables, 4 figures, and an appendix providing selected questionnaire items used to measure students' perceptions. (Author/RLC)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Adolescents, Disadvantaged Youth, High Risk Students, Incentives, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Low Achievement, Middle Schools, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Recognition (Achievement), Rewards, Student Evaluation, Student Motivation, Urban Schools
Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, Johns Hopkins University, 3505 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, Baltimore, MD.
Identifiers: Baltimore City Public Schools MD; Incentives for Improvement Program