Honors Program

Midway Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Rosemary Geiken

Thesis Professor Department

<--College of Education-->

Thesis Reader(s)

L. Kathryn Sharp, Karin Keith


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between instructional environment and student engagement during reading instruction. Environment is composed of three key elements: teacher attributes, instructional methods, and the physical classroom setting (Blair, Rupley, & Nichols, 2007; De Naeghel, Van Keer, Vansteenkiste, & Rosseel, 2012; Guthrie, Hoa, Wigfield, Tonks, & Perencevich, 2006; Housand & Reis, 2008). This study examined a first, second, and third grade classroom in one East Tennessee school. Qualitative data was collected using a combination of instructional observation and teacher interviews in order to examine existing practices for successfully engaging young readers. Teachers for each of the classrooms were interviewed; following the interview, each teacher’s classroom was observed three times to examine the teacher’s attributes and most frequently used instructional methods, the physical classroom setting, and the expressed level of engagement of the student body in the classroom. The findings indicate that environment in terms of teacher attributes, instructional methods, and physical classroom setting affects student reading engagement; classrooms with high levels of organization, novel reading areas, and opportunity for students to select reading material were found particularly effective for reading engagement.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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