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Managing the unmanageable? A case study of the token/reward system of behavior modification

1 May 1998


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate whether a token/reward system of behavior modification can effectively influence the problematic or off-task behavior of students. I reviewed previous literature pertaining to the behavioral management strategies available to educators. Data to address this issue included classroom observations as well as interviews with the classroom teacher. As my observations increased and I became more familiar with the classroom and how it was managed, I began realizing that the teacher had a number of behavioral modification strategies tied into her more encompassing strategy of the token/reward system. I concluded that while the token/reward system can effectively influence a student's behavior, it may not adequately prepare them for future learning endeavors, once the tangible reward has disappeared.


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