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An Investigation of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Engagement

Freeman, Lauren (2022) An Investigation of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Engagement. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Student engagement has been at the forefront of education in all levels. From Pre-Kindergarten to Higher learning, the ways in which students attend during instruction and with tasks can be seen as an indicator of varying levels of student achievement and growth. The Corona Virus of 2019 opened up new questions when examining student engagement. When schools shut down to help curb the spread of the virus, teachers, students, parents and community members had to pivot to modernistic and distinct ways to continue the education of children and adult students around the world. The following study investigates the perceptions of teachers, students and parents as they attempted to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns of 2020 through 2021. The study used interviews from volunteers in a public magnet school in order to obtain information regarding student engagement during remote instruction and distance learning. The time period was divided into two specific “phases” as a means to clarify the onset of the shutdowns versus the ongoing remote learning period of the 2020-2021 school year. Using a framework of multiple engagement constructs as a guide, the responses were examined and summarized within the two phases. Findings showed that students were saddened by the time spent away from their classmates and teachers. Responses showed that they were anxious about schoolwork and others’ well-being. Parents were overwhelmed with the act of obtaining reliable wifi in order to support their children and, in some cases, themselves as they worked from home. Contrarily, many of the participants thrived in their new learning environment within the comfort of their home. Some found the remote learning schedule more flexible for families. Conclusively, participant responses showed an unexpected resilience of the teachers, students and parents as time went on during distance learning.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Freeman, Laurenlef58@pitt.edulef58
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKucan,
Committee MemberMcClure,
Committee MemberThompson-Dorsey,
Committee MemberLamar,
Date: 13 May 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 November 2021
Approval Date: 13 May 2022
Submission Date: 1 May 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 96
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic student engagement
Date Deposited: 13 May 2022 16:36
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 16:36


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