ERIC Number: ED155822
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Intrinsic Rewards in School Crime.
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly; Larson, Reed
One of 52 theoretical papers on school crime and its relation to poverty, this chapter deals with the intrinsic motivation that the systemic structure of a school provides for opportunities for both prosocial and antisocial behavior. On the basis of previous research, the authors propose that the state of enjoyment occurs when a person is challenged at a level matched by his or her level of skills. According to the model, the experience of meetable challenges requires the perception of a constrained set of possible actions, clearly defined goals, and opportunities for unambiguous feedback. Ideally, learning should involve systemic involvement in sequences of challenges internalized by students. However, evidence indicates that such involvement is rare and is often subverted by the school itself. In the absence of such opportunities, antisocial behavior provides an alternate framework of challenges for bored students. Disruption of classes, vandalism, and violence in schools are, in part, attempts of adolescents to obtain enjoyment in otherwise lifeless schools. Restructuring education in terms of intrinsic motivation would not only reduce school crime, but also accomplish the goal of teaching youth how to enjoy life in an affirmative way. (Author/MLF)
Descriptors: Behavior Theories, Change Strategies, Creative Expression, Delinquent Behavior, Difficulty Level, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Environment, Educational Facilities Design, Elementary Secondary Education, Novelty (Stimulus Dimension), Rewards, School Vandalism, Self Actualization, Student Motivation, Violence
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Hackensack, NJ. NewGate Resource Center.
Note: Chapter 7 of "Theoretical Perspectives on School Crime, Volume I"; For other papers in this volume, see EA 010 729-768