Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Howard Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tony Tan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Thornton, Ph.D.


academic resilience, arts instruction, online learning and brick-and-mortar instruction, motivation, pandemic, resilience


I present a self-study of my need-supportive teaching practice. I have long been curious about what it is about my teaching, what I say and do, that motivates students to work harder on their artwork and persevere when they become mired in difficulties. Need-supportive teaching addresses students' basic psychological needs within the classroom setting through high-quality teacher/student relationships and structure. Need-supportive teaching, motivation, and academic resilience are areas I made an extensive study of, as presented in chapter two. In March of 2020, the educational landscape in the United States was altered by the arrival of the unprecedented and novel Coronavirus. Schools across the globe and the Southeastern United States, where I teach, closed their brick-and-mortar institutions and went to online learning. At the start of the 2020-21 school year, parents had the option of either sending their children back to the brick-and-mortar school building and learn face-to-face or keep them home where they would learn online. Suddenly I was thrust into a new teaching dynamic where I taught both face-to-face, online, and one blended class. Now, more than ever, being a need-supportive teacher was essential for all students learning face-to-face and online. The study I conducted focused on my teaching, and my primary data source was a reflexive journal. I also worked with two student participants to learn what their perceptions of being in my class were. Findings included finding emergent themes such as Frustration/Fears, Empathy with Students, and Successes in Teaching. I recommend a more extended longitudinal period to study the wide-ranging effects that my practice of need-supportive teaching may cause.

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