The Use of Rewards in Education: Opposing Views. Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS) Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation. Intrinsic Motivation.
Positive Behavioral Intervention Support (PBIS)
Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation
Define and teach positive social expectations
Acknowledge positive behavior
Arrange consistent consequences for problem behavior
Focuses staff and student attention on desired behaviors
Increases the likelihood that desired behaviors will be repeated
Fosters a positive school climate
Reduces the need for time consuming disciplinary measures, increasing student time on-task
Keep it simple
The system should be for all students
Make sure that rewards reflect the interests of the students (ask them!)
Students should be eligible to earn rewards throughout the day contingent upon appropriate behavior
Increase reinforcement before difficult times
Deliver reinforcement unpredictably (you never know when you will get a surprise!) – but consistently
Refrain from using the loss of rewards as a strategy for motivating desired behaviors…earned = kept
Provide staff with opportunities to recognize students in common areas who are not in their classes
Encourage staff to reinforce students and students to earn the rewards
Share data with staff
Teach principles of reinforcement to all staff
Effective and evidence-based
Teaches new skills
Punishment alone is ineffective
Leads to long term/lasting change
Motivates and engages youth, staff and families
More positive environment
Formal & frequent use of positive rewards/reinforcers for appropriate student behavior contributes to development of environments that are described as positive, caring, safe, facilitating, etc.
Rewards are a core feature of building a positive school culture.
Rewards make a difference
Initial behavior change
Sustained behavior change (Doolittle, 2006)
Rewards can be used badly
But they do NOT inhibit intrinsic motivation
Rewards can be used effectively in all school contexts.
“Rewards are effective when used to build new skills or sustain desired skills, with contingent delivery of rewards for specific behavior, and are gradually faded over time.” Akin-Little, Eckert, Lovett, Little, 2004
“In terms of the overall effects of reward, our meta-analysis indicates no evidence for detrimental effects of reward on measures of intrinsic motivation.” Cameron, Banko & Pierce, 2001 p.21
“Negative effects of rewards are produced when rewards signify failure or are loosely tied to behavior.” Cameron, Banko & Pierce, 2001
These findings indicate that negative effects of rewards do not persist over time when task performance is rewarded on repeated occasions.
Davidson & Bucher, 1978
Feingold & Mahoney, 1975
Mawhinney, Dickinson & Taylor, 1989
Vasta, Andrews, McLaughlin & Stirpe, 1978
“For high-interest tasks, verbal rewards are found to increase free choice and task interest. This finding replicates” Cameron and Pierce, 1994; Deci et al., 1999).
“When tasks … are of low initial interest, rewards increase free-choice, and intrinsic motivation…” (Cameron, Banko & Pierce, 2001 p.21)
The use of rewards will damage “intrinsic motivation” and actually result in reduction of desired behaviors.
“…although rewards can control people’s behavior …the primary negative effect of rewards is that they tend to forestall self-regulation.” Deci et al., 1999 p. 659
“The expectation of reward can actually undermine intrinsic motivation and creativity of performance…A wide variety of rewards have now been tested, and everything from good-player awards to marshmallows produces the expected decrements in intrinsic motivation and creative performance… Tegano et al., 1991 p. 119
–from a dissertation presented to the faculty of the School of Human Services Professions, Widener University, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Education by Joseph F. Cortese, February, 2008