Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Using photo-elicitation to understand student engagement at a STEM magnet and traditional public middle school
by Purvis-Buchwald, Stacey, Ed.D., Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, 2017, 164; 10257784
Abstract (Summary)

This multiple case study utilized a qualitative approach to research student engagement at the middle school level. Specifically, this project contributes to the understanding of how students at a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) magnet middle school and a traditional public middle school perceive student engagement in the classroom as classified into the categories of behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and agentic engagement (Lee & Reeve, 2012; Reeve & Tseng, 2011). Middle school students in this project participated in a classroom engagement unit of inquiry, produced photo-elicitation data depicting positive examples of classroom engagement, produced descriptions of those photos, and discussed engagement in photo-elicited focus group interviews that revealed their thoughts and beliefs about engagement in the classroom setting. Results revealed that middle school students at traditional and STEM sites have similar perceptions related to each of the categories of student engagement. However, two distinguishing characteristics were discovered from this research. First, students at the traditional middle school attributed student engagement as primarily an individual experience whereas students at the STEM middle school perceived student engagement as mainly collaborative for each category of engagement. Second, students at the traditional middle school identified a teacher-centered aspect to student engagement that was absent from the perceptions of students at the STEM school. Additional research on student engagement is warranted due to the changing landscape of middle school education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kotz, Paul
Commitee: Cisewski, Shannon, Feder-Lewis, Sonia N., McClure, John
School: Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Department: Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 78/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Middle School education, Education, Secondary education
Keywords: Agentic engagement, Behavioral engagement, Cognitive engagement, Emotional engagement, Photo-elicitation, STEM
Publication Number: 10257784
ISBN: 9781369629491
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