Breaking the Norm: A Classroom without Incentives

Morgan Houk, Leah Nillas, Faculty Advisor, Leah A. Nillas

Research output: Faculty Advisor of Undergraduate Research


It is common practice for teachers to implement incentive-based behavior programs into their classroom management routine. This use of external motivators is a way to reward students for behavior and academic performance that is already expected of them (i.e., staying quiet in the hall, turning in homework). However, external motivators tend to diminish any opportunity for students to develop intrinsic motivation. There is a strong relationship between intrinsic motivation and student achievement (Ryan & Deci, 2009). Having students that are intrinsically motivated highlights the fact that they have found a topic in which they are passionate and as a result, will work harder and enjoy learning. This self-study includes a qualitative analysis of data (i.e. field and anecdotal notes, lesson plans, reflections) and a review of current research. This self-study investigates specific strategies teachers can use in order to foster intrinsic motivation that instills an overall passion for learning.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 8 2017


  • educational studies poster


  • Education

Cite this