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Sophie-Anne Lalonde Leblanc

EDUC 5953D
February 25, 2015
Xenos, A. J. (2012). A Point System Approach to Secondary Classroom Management. Clearing House,
85(6), pp. 248-253.
In this article, Xenos discusses the use of a constructivist-behaviourist approach in the
classroom to allow rewards for desired behaviours in the classroom. This being a controversial topic in
the education field, Xenos talks about some arguments some people made about it having non-desired
effects such as motivating students intrinsically for appropriate behaviours as well as it is very timeconsuming for teachers to create such rewards. For those concerns, Xenos explains throughout the
article the design process in creating the system, how to implement it, and how to manage an effective
point system.
I very much believe in rewards system as a way of motivating students to do their work and
have appropriate behaviour during instructional time. That being said, though, I am well aware that this
can very well be a debate discussion but I do believe that, as long as the rewards are implemented in a
way that is beneficial for the child and doesn't consist of training a them(but rather as a way to guide
the child in the right direction). It can be implemented in a way that benefits, not only the students with
behaviour problems or those who are struggling to do their work, but for all students in the class. It is
also important for the teacher, if they are using a reward system, to communicate their expectations to
the students on how they can get those rewards. Overall, I thought this article was well written in the
sense that it clarified how a reward system can work effectively without making it a training session
for the students, making it, instead, a learning guide.
Rassuli, A. (2012). Engagement in Classroom Learning: Creating Temporal Participation Incentives
for Extrinsically Motivated Students Through Bonus Credits. Journal Of Education For
Business, 87(2), pp. 86-93
In this article, Rassuli discusses the extrinsic motivation a lot of students have to meet
expectations of the curriculum. Those students do not learn because they want to learn, rather they
learn because they have to. From that discussion, Rassuli goes on to discuss how bonus credits can be
given in the classroom to intrinsically motivate students to learn. Rassuli suggests that teachers make a
clear distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic rewards, extrinsic rewards be framed in a manner
supporting autonomy, as well as creating interest in classroom activities.
As teachers, we need to know what motivates our students and how they learn best. From that
view, we also need to know how to motivate our students. We need to keep in mind that not all of our
students like to be rewarded the same way. For that reason, we need to get to know our students and
understand whether they are motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. From there we are able to look at
our options in regards to rewards. A child may be motivated by the simple fact that they may get an A
on a certain task, another student may be motivated because they know they are going to get a surprise
at home while others are simply motivated because the subject in question is very much interesting to
them. Although the article talked specifically about bonus points to help those students who are
motivated extrinsically, I believe that the author could have made a better point in explaining how to
reward those other struggling students who are intrinsically motivated, thus involving all types of
students, not just the one type.

Robichaux, N. M., & Gresham, F. M. (2014). Differential Effects of the Mystery Motivator Intervention
Using Student-Selected and Mystery Rewards. School Psychology Review, 43(3), 286-298.
Robichaux and Gresham start their article by defining disruptive behaviour within the
classroom as behaviour disrupting the learning environment by interrupting the instructional time.
These behaviours, as they also mention, is related to more life-threatening behaviours, such as drug
abuse, later in life. For that reason alone, they believe disruptive behaviours should be addressed as
soon as possible and as effectively as possible. With the whole debate surrounding rewards in mind,
Robichaux and Gresham decided to look at student-selected rewards and mystery rewards and their
effectiveness in improving disruptive behaviours within the classroom setting. As a result of their
research, they found that students who had been presented the mystery reward showed more
improvement in behaviour and in participation during classroom activities than those who had been
allowed to choose their own reward.
This subject is very important because teachers need to know that even though they may think
that giving the choice to their students on what reward they want, it may not work for all students. By
using a mystery motivator (students have no idea of what it is) students will be more intrigued and may
be more willing to collaborate with you and comply with your demands for the classroom environment
to be a safe environment for all. Nonetheless, though, we have to keep in mind that maybe not all
students are going to be interested in this type of reward so you still need to ensure to have a good idea
of what each student in your classroom is interested in and how they like to be rewarded. Even though
it sounds like a lot of work (and it is) we need to remember to put our students first and ensure that they
are learning to the best of their abilities.
Rubin, R. (2012). Independence, Disengagement, and Discipline. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 21(1),
pp. 42-45
Rubin, in this article, mentions the fact that traditional instructions are not considered brainfriendly. This means that traditional instructions such as memorization do not promote effective
learning. From that inability to achieve the goals, students become more dependent on the help of the
teacher and lose their sense of independence. By losing their sense of independence, Rubin argues that
it can result in defiance, power struggles, and disengagement. His stance on reward is one that should
not give extrinsic rewards to students because they may only be doing the work for those rewards.
Instead, Rubin suggests using intrinsic rewards by keeping in mind the ecology of childhood and
students' developmental needs.
This article is a very good source for any teachers who may be struggling in keeping their
students actively learning and interested during instructional time. As instructors, we need to ensure
that our students feel like they are gaining something out of our lessons or else they will not be
motivated. If students aren't motivated they will disengage and may start showing disruptive
behaviours. Also, if we do not make an effort in engaging the students and in allowing individuality,
students will have a sense of loss of independence which, in turn, can create behavioural issues that
could have been avoided. We need to show our students that we care and we will succeed at
demonstrating this only if we allow students to be themselves in a safe and accepting environment.
Wheatley, R. K., West, R. P., Charlton, C. T., Sanders, R. B., Smith, T. G., & Taylor, M. J. (2009).
Improving Behavior through Differential Reinforcement: A Praise Note System for Elementary
School Students. Education & Treatment Of Children, 32(4), 551-571.
This article discusses the use of praise as a reward when teaching students how to behave

appropriately during lunch hour, especially in low-income communities. Their findings showed a
significant decrease in the three target behaviours, namely, littering, sitting inappropriately and running
in the lunch room. Although they thought of the praise system as a very effective strategy to help with
behavioural problems, they do explain that there is a need to consider certain components of the
systems. Those components are program intensity and program delivery we need to be able to
pinpoint the intensity of the program and how it is going to be delivered to ensure that it will work.
As teachers, we need to understand that there are tons of different approaches to help with
undesired behaviours within the classroom. For that reason, we need to understand how to find the best
one for our own group of students but also how we are supposed to deliver it to ensure it gives us the
anticipated results. Our research must be effective and we need to follow the protocol when a certain
reward system, regardless of what it consists of, is implemented. We also have to ensure that all of our
students will benefit from the system, not just a select few. For that reason, we need to ensure that we
know our students' motivations and interests.
Witzel, B. S., & Mercer, C. D. (2003). Using Rewards to Teach Students with Disabilities. Remedial &
Special Education, 24(2), 88
Although rewards as an incentive to learn has been a very controversial topic, Witzel and
Mercer talk about extrinsic rewards as a way to develop intrinsic motivation. They discuss the fact that
many students with learning disabilities have behaviour problems due to potential low self-esteem in
term of academics. They may have failed repeatedly and gotten little praise on any of their work.
Witzel and Mercer argue that by using praise as a main reward system along with others, they will be
able to help struggling students to succeed and build their self-esteem back.
As educators, we will have students with differing learning disabilities and for that reason we
need to ensure that we answer to their needs. We cannot, under any circumstance, think that a child will
get over whatever disability they may have. We need not only address it, but work directly with the
student to help him reach their goal. We need to be a model of how work is done in the classroom but
we also need to support and scaffold students so they may be able to build on their learning base by
themselves later on.