Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Eleni Roulis, Karen Westberg, Todd Busch


With the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act, schools can now be measured for success in ways other than student test scores, including student engagement. This study examines how urban math and science teachers are controlling classroom elements for student engagement, defined as a composite of affective, behavioral, and cognitive constructs, while developing a greater understanding of teaching as an art and a science. This study is significant for a number of reasons including a lack of teacher-focused engagement studies in the research, the focus on math and science teachers, and the willingness to explore the practical (the science) and the aesthetic (the art) that teaching requires. Using a qualitative case study design, 11 math and science teachers at an urban high school were each observed for two fifty-five minute academic level class periods. From those 22 observations, the researcher was able to identify 21 teacher controlled elements of the classroom experience which were then categorized into one of three themes: classroom structures and logistics, curriculum and instruction, and teacher and student relationships. The data were then interpreted through the work of William Glasser, who identified the importance of a student meeting psychological needs in the classroom and John Dewey, who wrote about the need for students to have a student-centered and growth-focused aesthetic experience in order to learn. Although each learning experience is unique, teachers must design and implement classroom structures and logistics that allow for students to access the curriculum and instruction while building positive relationships with students in order to effectively and positively impact student engagement.


student engagement, teaching, experience, art of teaching, science of teaching

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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