Thesis Teacher conceptions of student engagement in learning A phenomenographic investigation 7.07.doc.pdf (1.18 MB)

Teacher conceptions of student engagement in learning: A phenomenographic investigation

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posted on 2023-11-09, 01:13 authored by Lois HarrisLois Harris
Project involves "semi-structured interviews with 20 Central Queensland secondary English teachers about their classroom experiences with student engagement".. "This study utilises a phenomenographic approach to investigate teacher conceptions of student engagement in learning. The research question asks: What are the qualitatively different conceptions of student engagement in learning held by secondary English teachers in Central Queensland? The research aims to contribute to knowledge about student engagement by investigating the teacher perspectives generally ignored in the research literature. This thesis begins with a review of academic research, scholarship, and government documents where multiple and conflicting understandings of engagement are identified. Phenomenography has been chosen as the empirical research approach because it is designed to map variation in understandings. Standard phenomenographic analysis is used in conjunction with two frameworks congruent with phenomenography. The first framework is based on understandings of intentionality and the second on understandings of awareness. Together these frameworks allow for in-depth analysis of conceptions by identifying the parts and contexts of conceptions and differentiating between the participants understanding and his or her conception of how this understanding is facilitated. The empirical component of the research involves semi-structured interviews with 20 Central Queensland secondary English teachers about their classroom experiences with student engagement. These data are transcribed and analysed as per phenomenographic protocol. This study identifies six conceptions within the what aspect, teacher conceptions of student engagement. These correspond with three conceptions comprising the how aspect, teacher conceptions of how to facilitate student engagement. The findings of the empirical research and scholarly review of literature build conceptual knowledge about student engagement. This research indicates that educational stakeholders do not hold similar understandings of student engagement. If the concept of student engagement is to become educationally fruitful, the term must be more explicitly defined in educational research and government policy documents to promote shared understandings among stakeholder groups." -- abstract.


Number of Pages



Central Queensland University

Additional Rights

I hereby grant to Central Queensland University or its agents the right to archive and to make available my thesis or dissertation in whole or in part through Central Queensland University’s Institutional Repository, ACQUIRE, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all copyright, including the right to use future works (such as articles or books), all or part of this thesis or dissertation.

Open Access

  • Yes

External Author Affiliations

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education;

Era Eligible

  • No


Colin Lankshear ; Christina Davidson ; Richard Smith

Thesis Type

  • Doctoral Thesis

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