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ERIC Number: EJ793541
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
How Learning Contracts Motivate Students
Greenwood, Scott C.; McCabe, Patrick P.
Middle School Journal (J3), v39 n5 p13-22 May 2008
In this article, the authors discuss how learning contracts can motivate students. "A learning contract is simply a written agreement between teacher and learner in which the learner undertakes to complete mutually agreed upon tasks in a specified amount of time on his or her own initiative" (Greenwood, 2003, p.1). Contracts are designed to involve students in classroom activities and, ultimately, to enable more teacher flexibility and control. Learning contracts are ideal for middle level students and teachers for a variety of reasons: (1) Contracts formalize and ensure the gradual release of responsibility that is often talked about but less-than-frequently practiced; (2) Contracts harness and capitalize upon student motivation to read (in particular) and to learn (generally) the standards-driven content that they are expected to acquire; (3) Contracts encourage and require students to apply some very transportable and useful skills, traits, and dispositions (e.g., time management, task prioritization); and (4) Contracts allow the willing and able students to move forward with efficiency, without delay. (Contains 8 figures.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7; Middle Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A