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ERIC Number: ED515918
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 223
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-3933-9
The Effects of Rewards and Punishments on Motivations of the Elementary School Student
Matera, Bryan D.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Walden University
Past research has shown that rewards and punishments imposed on elementary school students may contribute to increases in student motivation and academic achievement. However, alternative research findings indicate that students may exhibit temporary compliance with such external stimuli and may not develop intrinsic motivation to perform well academically over an extended time frame. The purpose of this study was to understand and discover how students responded motivationally when teachers issued rewards and punishments (such as candy for a reward; detention for a punishment). This qualitative case study examined the use of rewards and punishments and how such stimuli impacted motivational responses among 25 6th grade students. Guided by a conceptual framework rooted in phenomenological psychology, research questions examined participants' motivations as a result of rewards and punishments imposed on them in the academic setting and their responses to these rewards and punishments. Data from classroom observations, interviews, and an open ended survey were collected from a sample population of 12 female and 13 male 6th grade regular education students. These data were then analyzed and coded using categorical analysis in which categorical patterns were established related to motivation. The overarching finding in the study was that when the teacher no longer provided rewards and punishments, student behavior changed or reverted back to its original form. Thus, motivation to perform academically did not appear to be impacted long-term. A recommendation for practice is that teachers might alter their motivational practices so as to better instruct students and heighten their intrinsic motivation levels. Social change implications are that a motivational environment with both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards may lead to improved student academic performance within the classroom and a greater commitment to learning and knowledge acquisition in general. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A