Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership

Major Professor

Judith Ponticell, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

John Mann, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Joyce Haynes, Ph.D.


teacher engagement, student motivation, engaged learning


This capstone project was part of a group project completed by three principals in elementary schools in Hillsborough County, Florida. The project began because of our passion to understand effective teachers. Our collective goal was to have more engaged teachers which would create more engaged students resulting in greater student and teacher success.

Our overall group project purpose was to discover the behavior and characteristics an engaged teacher demonstrates and how these behaviors affect the learning environment and the students that are in that environment. The project was guided by the question, how does a culture of engaged teachers develop and support student engagement, choice, and voice?

My area of focus was, how do children and adults benefit from an engaged learning environment? Selected literature was reviewed that concentrated on the impact of teacher engagement on student learning; student, teacher and parent voice, student and teacher mutuality, and building capacity for engaged learning environments. Results of two district-administered survey instruments were used as data sources: the School Climate and Perception Survey (SCIP) and the Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL). A secondary analysis of the 2014-2015 survey results was conducted for this project, using our three schools as the unit of analysis. Key findings in my area of focus included the importance of relationship and student voice in student engagement; the importance of teacher autonomy, self- and collective efficacy in teacher engagement; and barriers to engagement in the learning environment.