Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Rewards for Reading

Question: What type of reward for reading will motivate students to continue to read?

Answer/Quote: “A child who is intrinsically motivated undertakes the task for very different reasons than the child who is extrinsically motivated…. Teachers aim to facilitate a lifetime love of reading among students, so it is clear that fostering intrinsic motivation to read is most likely the goal educators strive for in the long-term.” P. 6.

“Gambrell (1996) proposed a reward-proximity hypothesis to investigate how the type of reward and its proximity to the desired behavior (i.e., reading) might influence the intrinsic motivation of students. For example, can prizes such as books, more positively influence students’ intrinsic motivation to read as opposed to rewards such as food, toys, or stickers?” p. 6-7.

“Research on the reward proximity hypothesis suggests that the type of reward condition may influence the type of motivation cultivated among children. In a study with third grade students, Marinak and Gambrell (2008), found that students given a book reward, or even no reward at all, were more likely to engage in subsequent reading than students who received tokens such as Pez dispensers, friendship bracelets and the like for their efforts….” 7.

Comment: Interesting. I’ve always felt that the love for reading comes from the love of ideas, that ideas are the main enjoyment and motivation for reading. RayS.

Title: “Rewards for Student Reading: A Good Idea or Not?” K Hildens and J Jones. Reading Today (October/November 2011), 6-7.

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