Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Reading Incentives

This article about reading incentives leaves me with an uneasy feeling about pleasure reading. In previous posts, everyone knows how much I love reading for pleasure and how important it is for adults to model the behavior for kids. You can find the introduction to the article later in the post.

I've just finished two books, "The Alexandria Link" and "The Romanov Prophesy", by an author new to me, Steve Berry. My incentive for reading them was pure enjoyment. Sadly, it seems reading for pleasure is not as popular as it once was.

Reading Scores Get 'Bump' From Student Incentives, Study Finds
By Erik W. Robelen

School-based reward programs that offer students such incentives as cash, free MP3 players, or other gifts appear to produce improved reading achievement across grade levels, preliminary findings from an ongoing research project suggest.
The analysis, which looked only at charter schools because of the prevalence of incentive programs in the independent public schools, found no impact on students’ performance in mathematics.

Released today by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes , at Stanford University, the study comes as a growing number of school districts and charter schools around the country are experimenting with such reward programs in the hope of improving student learning and behavior. The analysis suggests that incentive programs may well be a cost-effective measure...

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