The Effect of Behavioral Contracting on Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Performance Achievement on the Soprano Recorder

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of behavioral contracting on preservice elementary teachers’ performance achievement on the soprano recorder. Participants were elementary and special education majors (N = 60) enrolled in an undergraduate elementary music methods course. The study used a withdrawal design (ABA) composed of 2-week baseline–contract–baseline phases. Participants performed an assigned excerpt on the soprano recorder at the conclusion of each phase, and the tempo and number of errors performed were scored as data points for each participant. Results showed that participants performed with significantly higher tempos and significantly fewer errors during the contracting phase. Following the contracting phase, participants’ performed tempo continued to increase even in the absence of the behavioral contract. These results are consistent with previous research suggesting that behavioral contracting does have a positive impact on students’ performance skills.