The student voice on a token economy system at whole-school level

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Geoghegan, Ciara
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This qualitative study set out to explore the student perspective on an implemented token economy system in a secondary school setting. Two focus group interviews were conducted, each with five participants, randomly sampled to include two students from each of the five year groups (first to fifth year) in the school. An inductive approach to thematic analysis was employed to analyze the data and four main themes were identified, including: 1) The Whole School Approach, 2) The Implementation of The System, 3) The Effect of The System on Student Motivation, and 4) The Reward Value. The results yielded some insights into the effectiveness of a token economy system in a secondary school setting and highlighted the importance of garnering the views of students in evaluating the impact that such a system can have on student motivation and behaviour. The results from this study would suggest that further investigation into the systematic implementation of a token economy system at whole school level would be beneficial. It also probes further exploration into how the inclusion of student voice, in the development of key elements of a token economy system, such as the type of reward and organization of the system, would impact the efficacy of a token economy system, in place, in a post-primary setting.