The use of incentives for motivating students to read.
West, Trina M.
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Motivating students to read seems to be a near universal problem for teachers. To address that problem, the question for this research synthesis is, what does research say about the relationship between reading incentives and a student’s motivation to read? Results of this synthesis indicate that research into motivation and incentives, both generally and for reading, focuses mainly on students in the elementary school age range. For the effects of incentives in general, findings indicate that while tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools, the greater impact on motivation and academic performance comes from teacher verbal encouragement and activity selection, and student interests and intrinsic motivation. For the effects of incentives specifically for reading motivation, findings indicate that these effects are similar to effects of incentives generally: that tangible extrinsic rewards are used by teachers and schools but appear to have little impact on student motivation to read, and that the greater impact on reading motivation and academic performance can come from certain types of reading instruction, student access to books, and student intrinsic motivation. These findings are relevant to the professional development of elementary teachers and will therefore be disseminated to them through a professional development video.
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