Spring 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Dr. Jean Strait

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Katy Carthey

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Karen Terhark


The research question addressed in this study is as follows: does the use of the workshop model improve engagement and achievement in an honors senior level literature classroom? This action research study sought to discover how two workshop treatment groups, Blau’s literature workshop and Tovani’s workshop model, compared to a control group in achievement on the target unit learning objectives and engagement change over the unit with high school honors-level senior students. Using pre- and post-treatment surveys, focus group discussion, and a unit test, this mixed-method research project looked for a parallel between increase engagement and achievement. Engagement measures under study here mirror Skinner et al. (2008) and include behavioral engagement, behavioral disengagement, emotional engagement, emotion disengagement, perceived competency, autonomy orientation, sense of relatedness, teacher support, and class agency. The data did not show a positive correlation between gains in engagement and achievement; in fact, a reverse trend from the current research on the topic occurred. This capstone also gives insight into the workshop model facets that were most beneficial to increasing engagement.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Focus Group, Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)


Achievement, Curriculum, Reading, Writer’s Workshop