Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Heather Miller, Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Michael Jazzar, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Tom Cavanagh, Ph.D.


at-risk student, extrinsic motivation, incentives, intrinsic motivation, low performing student, motivation, Title I Act


Student incentives are powerful tools that teachers use in their classroom to help facilitate students learning and academic success. When teachers struggle to motivate their low performing, disengaged, and inattentive student to learn, they can always count on student incentives to help them out. This qualitative research was based on the day-to-day experience of teachers when offering various student incentives to motivate them to achieve in their educational studies. By researching, using a case study approach, the experiences of urban teachers in Title I (“Title One”) schools who use student incentive, this study yielded data about how teachers utilize and choose educational incentives and provided an overall viewpoint from the teachers’ experiences regarding the phenomena. Constructivism theory was used to develop an in-depth understanding of the experiences of urban teachers who use incentives to motivate low performing, at-risk students. Data collection included initial semistructured interviews, secondary semistructured interviews, and documents in the form of lesson plans and various types of student incentives samples. Data were assessed by coding for initial classifications, and topics were created using open coding. Given that this study centers on the shared experience of inner-city school teachers in the greater Houston area, the research looked specifically at the teachers’ practices, opinions, and viewpoints regarding student incentives.

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