Date of Award

5-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if the academic incentive program, ''Book-It," which advocates the use of pizza as an extrinsic reward for reading, would improve the reading attitudes of sixth grade students. In addition, due to the fact that the ''Book-It" program is voluntary, it was beneficial to note if a significant number of readers with poor attitudes participated, or were the majority of participants those students already possessing positive attitudes toward reading.

The subjects were one hundred thirty-seven urban, heterogeneously grouped sixth grade students from separate middle schools. The students' ages ranged from 11-13. There were a total of eight classes involved in this study. Four of the classes participated in the ''Book-It" program (the experimental group), and the other four classes were not given any extrinsic incentives for voluntary reading (the control group). As a pre- post-attitude assessment, the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey was given to each of the subjects. Each teacher administered the Survey; however, the researcher collected and tabulated the results.

Two separate t tests were used to analyze the data. The results of the first t test demonstrated no statistically significant differences on the post-test scores between the control group and the experimental group. The results of the second t test demonstrated no statistically significant differences on the pretest scores between those students who voluntarily participated and those who did not. The findings, consistent with previous research, support the claim that the use of extrinsic rewards do not improve students' motivation to read.

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