Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua

Third Advisor

Dr. William Burrian

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Howard Farris


Most psychologists and educators agree that instructional procedures are most effective when individualized. Unfortunately, most approaches to individualization require that large institutional and training changes occur. Thus, educational programs most commonly apply group methods which focus on a hypothetical "average" learner. An alternative program, called the Guided Study Project, is described. This program is designed to augment group procedures without extensive change in current methods. The Guided Study Project is a school-wide contracting center available to all students of all classes. The procedures involve the use of a daily behavioral contract and the project is managed by students who serve as staff and one adult coordinator. Data are presented on the efficiency of use of the project by teachers and students and for three separate experiments done within the context of the program. Experiment I examined the effects of project use on classroom performance. Experiment II measured performance in the classroom as a function of having students write their own contracts. Experiment III determined if classroom performance changed when teachers negotiated contracts with students. Contracts were completed at a high rate. Classroom performance improved when students used the program consistently. No performance changes were observed when contract negotiation procedures were varied. An analysis of contracting in terms of the acquisition of self-management skills is presented.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access