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Faculty Mentors

Dr. Sharon Smoot

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third grade literacy students who receive incentive rewards as part of their instruction will exhibit significantly higher reading habits and attitudes toward recreational reading than they did before the incentives were introduced. The study examined 19 third grade students with fairly high intellectual abilities. The students were given an Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS) as a pre- and postmeasure. Weekly data were kept on the number of Accelerated Reader (AR) books read as well as scores on the AR tests. Baseline was student AR performance during the first four weeks of school, the incentives (prizes) were given the next four weeks. Findings indicated that students’ attitudes became worse over the entire length of the study. Prizes included certificates, food, books, pencils, bookmarks, or anything that might be attractive to the recipient. The conclusion was that the reading incentives were counter productive even though the number of books read and the scores on the test remained the same.

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