Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Hans Klar

Committee Member

Jacquelynn Malloy

Committee Member

Noelle Paufler

Committee Member

Barbara Nesbitt


Student engagement is a common problem in schools today and a challenging one to solve. Choosing to dive deeper into this complex problem at one high school, ten teachers participated in a coaching cycle designed to impact self-efficacy in student engagement with the support of the school’s instructional coach in collaboration with the principal. One overarching research question guided this improvement science study: What impact does an instructional coaching cycle focused on meaningfulness in learning activities have on teachers’ self-efficacy in student engagement? To answer the research question, I conducted a quantitative and qualitative data analysis of pre- and post-cycle Likert scales, teacher interviews, and coaching session observations. The data analysis revealed positive improvements in various aspects of student engagement. Specifically, teachers’ ratings of how much they could help students think critically, value learning, motivate students who show low interest in schoolwork, and foster student creativity improved. As the cycle progressed, teachers began to view students as partners in the planning process, using student feedback data to increase the meaningfulness of learning activities. The feedback process, connecting teachers to students’ perspectives on learning activities, contributed to the success of the coaching cycle. Although the coaching cycle focused on meaningful learning activities, the activities made planning more meaningful for teachers. The cycle positively impacted teachers’ beliefs about their abilities to engage the students in their classrooms.



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