Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H Stronge


Student engagement is an essential component to student learning. Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) has focused on providing schools with a unified approach to delivering quality classroom instruction. Despite the alignment and commonalities present, underlying issues still need further investigation. Discrepancies within student proficiency and learning gains exist across schools throughout the district. The purpose of the study was to investigate what patterns exist among fourth- and fifth-grade teachers across four schools within the district concerning the use of instructional practices and how these practices relate to levels of student engagement. This study investigated the relationship between student engagement, instructional delivery, and student achievement through a mixed-methods, comparative case analysis. Data were collected through classroom observations of sixteen teachers working in four MDCPS schools. A convergent mixed methods design facilitated a single-phase approach for simultaneously collecting qualitative and quantitative data. Observations provided correlations between High-Order Learning Tasks and Authentic Learning as well as Explicit Instruction with Connecting to Prior Knowledge and Providing Feedback. The primary instructional strategy used was teacher questioning. Furthermore, Student Engagement yielded varied degrees of correlation in association to the Instructional Delivery while compared to the Student Engagement indicators which generated weak correlations. Additional research is needed to identify which instructional strategies may predict higher levels of student engagement in the classroom as well as other observational tools that corroborate various forms of engagement. Professional development in the areas of Explicit Instruction, Use of Questioning, Providing Feedback, and Use of Technology is critical to building teacher capacity.




© The Author