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ERIC Number: ED312620
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Middle School Experiment: Can a Token Economy Improve Reading Achievement Scores?
Adler, Jay C.; And Others
Incentive programs in the form of token economies (the granting of points or counters which can later be exchanged for tangible rewards such as free time, listening to records, or candy) are widely used in schools today. The Pizza Hut restaurant chain promotes a motivation plan called "Book It" with free pizza as the reward for increased free reading, in cooperation with interested school systems. Such a program was mounted in a western suburban Chicago school district with 245 sixth grade students over a 5-month period. Students in the experimental group were promised a pizza reward for achieving an appropriate reading goal; students in the control group were simply encouraged to read as much as possible. Scores on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Achievement Test was the dependent variable. Contrary to enthusiastic expectations by the promoters of the "Book It" program, there were no statistically significant differences between the experimental group and the control group on reading achievement scores, although the participants probably derived some social benefits from the experience. Token economies have been successful with many forms of adolescent behavior, but these results underscore the belief that reading is too complex a process to be affected by just one variable--an external incentive. (Author/NKA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gates MacGinitie Reading Tests