Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Education



First Advisor

Douglas Davis

Second Advisor

Dennis Bunch

Third Advisor

Scott Kilpatrick

Relational Format



The purpose of this study is to understand the dynamics of student engagement and motivation in middle school students. The action research method involves collecting quantitative data through a student survey first and then explaining the quantitative results with in-depth qualitative data through interviews and focus groups. In the first, quantitative phase of the study, the motivation and engagement scale data will be collected from middle school students in the fifth through eighth grade of Regents School of Oxford to test the motivation and engagement of these students to assess whether intrinsic motivations relate to classroom student engagement. The second qualitative phase will be conducted as a follow-up to the quantitative results to help explain the reasons for motivation and engagement. In this exploratory follow-up the tentative plan is to explore student engagement through focus groups with middle school students who participated in the Motivation and Engagement Survey Profile. These focus groups will provide clarity around the reasons why students tend to lose motivational excitement about school and begin to show behavioral disengagement from class.



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