Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Michael Coquyt


Classroom Management, Catalyst Approach, Relationships, Engagement


This 2023 study focused on the effectiveness of the Catalyst Approach to classroom management in a second-grade versus sixth-grade classrooms in the same district. The Catalyst Approach is a comprehensive classroom implementation model that includes strategies for getting attention, engaging students, setting up for success, and supporting success. Whole group strategies are emphasized in this approach to aid in building a productive classroom environment (Burns & Brinkman, 2018). Our focus with this study was threefold: to see how the Catalyst Approach affected classroom management, how the Catalyst Approach affected relationships within the classroom environment, and how the Catalyst Approach compared in a second-grade versus sixth-grade classrooms. Classroom observations, field notes, and Likert scale surveys were used to collect data for analysis. This research took place in a Minnesota district in one second-grade and three sixth-grade classrooms with a sample size of 68 students in total. While the results differed slightly between the second-graders and the sixth-graders, the teachers’ field observations indicated that the Catalyst Approach was effective and had a positive impact in both grade levels. The researchers believe that the Catalyst strategies were effective, in part, because they had been using this approach with fidelity all year long. Overall, the teacher researchers found that the Catalyst Approach is effective for increasing student engagement and fostering positive relationships in the classroom.



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