Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Keedy, John L.

Author's Keywords

Pupil control; Student outcomes; Teacher beliefs; Classroom management; Education reform; Accountability


Middle school education--United States--Philosophy; Teaching--Philosophy


This study examined a hypothesized relationship among teacher beliefs, teacher behaviors, classroom climate, student engagement, and student outcomes. The researcher used teacher ( N = 6) and student ( N = 12) interviews, observations, and the mining of documents and material culture to collect data in a rural Midwest middle school struggling to meet the requirements of state and federal accountability measures. Humanistic teachers operated in an atmosphere of student empowerment and high levels of student engagement; Custodial teachers operated in an atmosphere of student compliance and low levels of student engagement. Outcomes, (grades, office referrals, and accountability scores) were more positive in humanistic classrooms than in custodial classrooms. The findings contributed to the knowledge base that will enable school administrators to address shortcomings in student achievement on high-stakes accountability tests.