Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 10-13-2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Brandy Kamm Ph.D.

Content Specialist

Chris Jenkins, Ph.D

Content Reader

Maggie Broderick, Ph.D.

Keywords

scholar-practitioner, dissertation, educational change, fun, learning, student achievement, academic success, engagement, effective instruction, motivation

Abstract

Low graduation rates, rising drop-out rates, and increasing apathy and disengagement in learning has prompted the need for new strategies and interventions in education. This case study provides an analysis of the perceptions of high school teachers related to the impact of the explicit, intentional inclusion of fun in direct instruction. The participants included approximately 20% of the faculty in a semirural high school of approximately 1,325 students. The case study involved individual interviews with half of the participants and the other half participating in a focus group conversation. Six participants in each group were observed. All comments and concepts were coded and analyzed in relation to the research question, “What are the perceptions of high school teachers regarding the use of activities that have been determined to be fun as explicit instructional strategies in terms of academic success and social-emotional behavior in school?” The themes of achievement, engagement, impediments, instruction, and motivation were identified during analysis. The data indicates that fun in instruction removes or limits barriers; improves academic achievement for students; and positively impacts students in the social-emotional realm. Implications for theory and practice involve a systemic reevaluation of standards and instructional strategies in order to effectively change the existing paradigm to a more efficient and impactful process of instructional practice.

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