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ERIC Number: ED503268
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 88
Abstractor: As Provided
Increasing Elementary and High School Student Motivation through the Use of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Rewards
Haywood, Joey; Kuespert, Sarah; Madecky, Dani; Nor, Abbey
Online Submission
This action research project report examined strategies to motivate students from extrinsically rewarding behaviors to intrinsically motivating behaviors. The action research was conducted in two different schools by four different teacher researchers within the same district. Three teachers in an elementary building (Site A) and one teacher in a high school building (Site B) conducted this research project with 50 elementary and 38 high school students in English language arts grades 3, 5, and 12. This research project was conducted from December 17, 2008 through May 9, 2008. The teacher researchers chose the subject of motivation as the focus of their action research project because an underlying lack of student motivation was observed in all of their classrooms. Through the use of a teacher survey, an administrative interview, and an observation checklist, the teacher researchers gathered data to provide evidence of students' lack of motivation. The teacher researchers discovered that their administrator's perspective on student motivation aligned with much of the research that they reviewed as well as their personal experiences and beliefs related to student motivation. From the observation checklist, the teacher researchers deduced that the majority of students needed some prompting from the teacher to participate either in the form of a verbal reminder or a tangible reward. According to data from the teacher survey, of teachers who participated in the survey (n=29; 23%) reported that they used some form of extrinsic rewards to help motivate students in their classroom. Common terms were identified from all three tools including: students' self-confidence and self-efficacy levels, students' active involvement in the learning process, parental support, as well as valuable, individualized praise. The teacher researchers used the following intervention strategies in order to examine student motivation as related to extrinsic and intrinsic motivators: verbal and written praise, cooperative learning groups, and tangible rewards. Verbal praise and positive feedback has been said to enhance a student's intrinsic motivation (Institute, 1997). Okolo and Bahr (1995) agree that different grouping arrangements in a multidimensional classroom give students a chance to demonstrate competence. Phillips and Lindsay (2006) found in their study that the competitive nature of his students and their receipt of his rewards influenced both their intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The teacher researchers found that most students responded well to all of the intervention strategies as long as the lessons continued to be engaging and best practices were employed. Many students reverted to previous performance levels and the teacher researchers hypothesized this might happen when he or she perceived the reward was not guaranteed or worth his or her effort. Although administrators and teachers supported incentives on a theoretical level, most teachers were on his or her own to develop, acquire, and implement both best practices strategies and tangible rewards in the classroom. This created an expense-related (time and financial) obstacle for teachers. Appended are: (1) Questions for Administration Survey; (2) Teacher Survey; (3) Observation Checklist Rubric--Objectives and Criteria; (4) Observation Checklist--Objectives; (5) Site A and Site B Positive Comment Postcards; (6) Site A Cooperative Learning Lesson Plan; and (7) Site B Cooperative Learning Assignment. (Contains 12 tables and 13 figures.) [Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University & Pearson Achievement Solutions, Inc. Field-Based Master's Program.]
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 12; Grade 3; Grade 5; High Schools; Intermediate Grades; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A