Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kathy Enger


student agency, choice, kindergarten


By providing opportunities for students to practice agency in the learning environment, students can make decisions and choices in their learning that will allow them to be motivated and take ownership over their own learning. This mixed methods research study examined the effectiveness of fostering student agency in a kindergarten classroom by comparing the surveys, interviews, and performance results of two groups of students within one classroom. The first group of students were given a choice in what literacy activities they completed and the length of time it took to complete them. The second group of students were given explicit directions from the teacher on which activities needed to be completed and the order to complete them in. Students completed surveys and interviews used to examine their lived experiences. In addition, they were individually assessed in naming letter sounds to show their growth in literacy skills throughout the study. This data was analyzed to determine whether providing students with choice in their learning can increase student motivation and success.



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