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A qualitative analysis of elementary school students' school engagement using photo-elicitation interviews


A qualitative analysis of elementary school students' school engagement using photo-elicitation interviews

Maduro, Alexandra (2019) A qualitative analysis of elementary school students' school engagement using photo-elicitation interviews. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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School engagement is a personal characteristic that is multidimensional and composed of emotional, behavioral and cognitive components (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004). Students’ patterns of motivation influence outcomes such as their style of engagement and their quality of learning (Gottfried, 1990; Russell, Ainley, & Frydenberg, 2005; Saeed & Zyngier, 2012). Therefore, understanding student engagement and its influence is important for understanding student academic performance and educational trajectories. Due to research indicating a decline in engagement after elementary school, research focusing on contextual factors impacting student motivation and engagement in childhood is critical (Fredricks et al., 2004; Mo & Singh, 2008).
The current research sought to understand students’ motivation and engagement in school using a qualitative participatory research methodology, which allowed for the analysis of students’ first-hand accounts of their schooling experiences. Five participants were selected from a grade five class based on their self-reported engagement in school. Over six research sessions, they provided experience sampling data and completed auto-driven photo-elicitation interviews, responding to prompts targeting their emotional, behavioral, and cognitive school engagement. This interview style offered participants autonomy regarding the themes and information they shared throughout the research process.
Findings from this study shed light on the role of contributing factors to student engagement. Common themes introduced by participants included students’ relationships with parents, teachers, and other influential adults, classroom environments, and specifics of the school curriculum. These results also helped explain how students’ personal motivational styles, which are not always clearly defined, related to their styles of school engagement.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Maduro, Alexandra
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:28 August 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Petrakos, Hariclia
Keywords:school engagement, photo-elicitation, education, motivation, elementary school, qualitative analysis
ID Code:985889
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 14:55
Last Modified:15 Nov 2019 14:55


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