Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Ximena Suarez-Sousa


token economy systems, interventions, challenging behavior, emotional/behavioral disorder, COVID-19, autoethnography


With the advances in knowledge that we have had available to us as educators, we have shown that we are capable of making powerful differences in the lives of students. A major topic that has risen in education is the emotional and behavioral needs that some students bring to the school buildings across America. Our ability to recognize, be proactive, and address emotional and behavioral needs has shown great progress. The purpose of this research study was intended to investigate an intervention in particular. The intervention of a Token Economy System is the focus of this study. A token economy system praises students for expected behaviors that are rewarded by a token. However, a question arises, “Does Token Economy systems have a true effect on challenging behaviors?” This answer will be later answered in my future teaching as this action research has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic led to school closures and students working from home to better their education through distance learning. The abrupt change in this action research led to Chapters 4 and 5 pertaining to qualitative research through autoethnography versus the intended research question. This autoethnography contained daily journals from my experiences through distance learning in the COVID-19 pandemic.



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