ERIC Number: ED448127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Extrinsic Motivators and Incentives: Challenge and Controversy.
Ingram, Michael A.
This article reviews the literature and provides examples of extrinsic motivators and incentives being used in public schools to decrease dropout rates, increase attendance, and increase academic achievement. The use of incentives has grown in favor as a way to increase student achievement, intrinsic motivation, self-worth, and retention. Certain characteristics must be present in incentives to ensure success in motivating students. These include establishing definite patterns of change in behavior, melding with students' interests, and having consistent standards of implementation. Students will respond favorably to rewards if they feel there is a reasonable chance of success, they are convinced that the personal risks are not overwhelming, and they believe that the product or reward is worth the effort needed to succeed. Educators do not universally support incentives in education. Many believe that the use of extrinsic motivators undermines individuals' intrinsic motivation. Evidence clearly shows that extrinsic rewards can either enhance or reduce interest in an activity, depending on how they are used. Despite continued controversy, incentive programs can serve a valuable function in schools, providing an additional source of motivation and support for students. (Contains 45 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A