File - Ms. Hannah Stephenson

The Use of Motivation and Rewards in the Elementary Classroom
Annotated Bibliography
Hannah Stephenson
EDUC 5953 D- Educational Psychology
Dr. Shaunda Wood
February 25th, 2015
The topic of motivation and rewards in the classroom appears to be an ongoing debate
in regards to academic achievement. In this bibliography, I have included several
different opinions, but focused my research on whether or not extrinsic motivation has
an effect on a student’s intrinsic motivation. The articles I chose discuss motivation and
rewards, and they all seem to take on the similar debate. One interesting article
included in this annotated bibliography discusses the perception of a teacher with
regards to the use of rewards in the classroom to encourage appropriate behaviour and
academic achievement.
Akin-Little, K.A., Eckert, T.L., Lovett, B.J., & Little, S.G. (2004). Extrinsic
Reinforcement in the Classroom: Bribery or Best Practice. School Psychology
Review, 33 (3), 344-362.
This article defines intrinsic motivation as a behaviour in which “there exists no
recognizable reward except the activity itself.” On the other side of the spectrum, AkinLittle et al. define extrinsic motivation as a “behaviour controlled by stimuli external to
the task.” According to research, the past forty years have proven the success of using
rewards in the classroom as a form of reinforcement. Researchers stated that
reinforcement strategies used in the classroom may decrease the student’s perception of
competence and self-determination. This decrease is referring to that of intrinsic
motivation. Akin-Little et al. states that intrinsic motivation is observed when students
do something because of interest, not because of an external reward. To conclude,
research shows little detrimental effect with the use of extrinsic motivation such as
rewards. If a teacher is using rewards in her/her classroom, research states that it is
important to use best practice because the student’s deserve the best.
Broussard, S.C., & Garrison, M.E.B. (2004). The Relationship between Classroom
Motivation and Academic Achievement in Elementary-School-Aged Children.
Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 33(2), 106-120.
The study focused on the relationship between classroom motivation and academic
achievement. The research was conducted in the southern United States and was based
on 122 1st grade students and 129 3rd grade students. According to Broussard and
Garrison, research shows that higher levels of mastery motivation led to higher math
and reading performance grades in the 1st grade. The student’s level of motivation is a
huge determinant of their level of success and quality of learning. Research indicated
that one’s intrinsic level of motivation in early years can have a significant impact on
future success. According to Boggiaro, Main, and Katz (1991), females were found to be
significantly more extrinsically motivated than males. One year later in 1992, Schiefele,
Krapp, and Winteler suggested that females academics are less associated with their
interests unlike male students. With this, the study supports the hypothesis that
intrinsic motivation is positively correlated to academic achievement.
Habgood, M.P.J., & Ainsworth, S.E. (2011). Motivating Children to Learn Effectively:
Exploring the Value of Intrinsic Integration in Educational Games. Journal of
the Learning Sciences, 20 (2), 169-206.
The study focuses on the concept of intrinsic motivation by using educational games for
children to create a productive relationship with learning content in the classroom. An
educational game, “Zombie Division”, was created for math students ages 7 to 11. In the
study 1, 58 students were observed for 2 hours of choice time for either intrinsic,
extrinsic, or control variants. In study 2, 16 children were allotted 2 hours and
compared time on each task including intrinsic, extrinsic, or control variants. Results
proved that children learned more from the intrinsic version of the game with a specific
amount of fixed time. Children were reported as spending 7 times longer playing the
intrinsic version of the game in free-time stimulation. Research indicates that there are
advantages and disadvantages related to using educational games for learning.
According to research, educational games can effectively motivate and engage children
in learning. The educational games can support and increase learning by gaining
persistence, increased focused attention, and the development of alternative strategies.
A possible disadvantage of educational games for children is that some may find it
rather difficult to transfer their mathematical understanding from one context to
another regardless if it is the same. Overall, research states that the integration of
educational games was intrinsically motivating for children.
Hoffmann, K.F., Huff, J.D., Patterson, A.S., & Nietfeld, J.L. (2009). Elementary
Teachers’ use and perception of rewards in the classroom. Teaching and
Teacher Education, 25 (6), 843-849.
Despite the forty year debate about the effects of extrinsic motivation on intrinsic
motivation in the classroom, it is evident rewards are still present in today’s classrooms
to encourage student’s behaviour and level of academic achievement. This article
focuses on the significant relationship between rewards, behaviours, and academic
achievement from the teacher’s perspective. According to Hoffmann et al., Alfie Kohn
(1996) indicates that the majority of teachers use rewards in their classrooms to regulate
the student’s behaviour. Therefore, this tends to cause students to behave in a manner
because of the reward. Judy Cameron (2001) indicates that the use of extrinsic
motivation such as rewards do not affect the intrinsic motivation of students. The study
asked the teacher participants if rewards have an appropriate place in the classroom.
The majority of the teachers indicated that they believe in the use of rewards in the
classroom because they encourage student good behaviour and academic achievement.
The teachers who took part in the study stated that they generally used tangible rewards
in the classroom. Furthermore, the study indicated that rewards should be used on a
conditional basis.
Mata, L. (2011). Motivation for Reading and Writing in Kindergarten Children.
Reading Psychology, 32 (3), 272-299.
Research studies of Kindergarten children indicate that they have high
motivation for both reading and writing. Children develop reading and writing early on
which means they are likely to develop feelings and attitudes towards reading and
writing at a young age. Reading Psychology states that a child’s motivation and
attitudes play a significant role in their learning in the classroom towards literacy.
Researchers mentioned that the child’s motivation towards reading and writing is
primarily influenced by their parents through the enthusiasm that they convey towards
literacy to their children. It is shown that when determining a child’s level of
motivation, we need to consider that child’s cognitive and social aspects as well. The
study showed that engaged readers, who read for pleasure, are motivated but as children
get older, studies show that one’s intrinsic motivation often declines as they get older.
According to Mata (2011), girls demonstrate higher levels of motivation whereas boys
tend to be more motivated by competition. If teachers want to prevent this decline,
researchers recommend providing students with the opportunity to understand the
importance and purpose of writing.
McGeown, S.P., Norgate, R., & Warhurst, A. (2012). Exploring Intrinsic and Extrinsic
Reading Motivation among Very Good and Very Poor Readers. Educational
Research, 54 (3), 309-322.
This article focused on the relationship between children’s reading skills and their
motivation towards reading. Researchers tried to determine whether there were
differences between children who were very good or very poor readers and their
intrinsic and extrinsic reading motivation. According to research, children’s intrinsic
motivation towards reading and reading efficacy was related with their reading ability
whereas their extrinsic reading motivation was not. Research indicates that the children
who are intrinsically motivated choose to engage in an activity because they find it
interesting and/or enjoyable. On the other hand, extrinsically motivated children will
only choose to take part in an activity if there is going to an outcome for them such as a
reward or a better grade. This study identified the differences between boys and girls in
regards to reading motivation. Girls demonstrate higher reading motivation than boys.
A study in 2003 observed 2 groups of readers which led to the conclusion that good and
bad reader’s level of intrinsic motivation differed significantly and their extrinsic level of
motivation did not differ. The study suggested that teachers understand what motivates
their students to become good readers.