Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Ellis

Second Advisor

Dr. Stamatis Vokos

Third Advisor

Dr. Rick Eigenbrood

Keywords

meta-analysis, engagement, science, middle school, self-determination theory, stage-environment fit theory

Abstract

Researchers and educational practitioners have long been concerned with declines in science engagement reported by students as they transition into the middle school setting. Though the operationalization of engagement is still nascent, an emerging consensus on a three-faceted model of student engagement has recently emerged in the research literature (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004). Thus, a synthesis of existing primary research of early adolescents’ science engagement under this emerging conceptualization was warranted. The results of this meta-analysis indicate that instructional methods, class characteristics and competence predictors had the strongest relationship with self-reported science engagement in early adolescence. These predictors also show the strongest relationship with affective and cognitive engagement sub-types. Though affective and cognitive engagement were well represented in primary studies, behavioral engagement was underrepresented in student self-reports.

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