Laura Nix

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

James Kirylo


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of phenomena-based inquiry on students’ engagement levels in my science classroom. This action research study took place in the fall of 2021 with six student participants. Participants were enrolled in an eighth-grade honors science course in a middle school in South Carolina. The research was predominantly qualitative, and data was collected from participant pre- and poststudy surveys and interviews, anticipation guides, exit tickets, online discussion forums, and teacher field notes. The data revealed that phenomena-based inquiry encouraged students to participate and engage in their own learning, as indicated by post interview questions, improved post-study survey scores, and teacher observations. By sparking students’ curiosity, making content relevant to their own lives, and heightening their confidence, phenomena-based inquiry increased engagement in the classroom.