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ERIC Number: ED532671
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 31
2. Can Money or Other Rewards Motivate Students?
Usher, Alexandra; Kober, Nancy
Center on Education Policy
This is the second in a series of six papers from the Center on Education Policy exploring issues related to students' motivation to learn. As noted in the first paper of this series, motivation to learn is one of the most important factors in a student's educational journey, but a robust discussion about students' motivation may be the "missing piece" of education reform. So how can everyone ensure that students are motivated? This paper examines one possibility--pure rewards. Perhaps this is the easiest answer to the challenge of engaging students; as they say, money is the universal language. So why not just pay students to exhibit the behavior we want, whether it's higher grades, higher test scores, or increased attendance? Why get bogged down in trying to convince students to believe intrinsically in the value of learning? In fact, this idea has taken shape in various forms in schools across the nation, but whether such programs work "continues to be a raging debate," according to Penn State University professor Barbara Marinak (cited in Guernsey, 2009). [For "1. What Is Motivation and Why Does It Matter? ", see ED532670.]
Center on Education Policy. 2140 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Room 103, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-994-8859; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy