Melissa West

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Sydney Brown


This case study addressed student academic intrinsic motivation during transition into middle school. The study examined one middle school that conducts a middle school transition program. The study collected data about student intrinsic motivation in reading, math, social studies, and science. The researcher explored procedures learned during the middle school transition program that students and teachers felt most directly impacted student intrinsic motivation. This study was an extension of Sealy’s (2012) dissertation about high school transition. The purpose of this study was to extend the generalization of the original study, build on previous research, and add related knowledge to the original study. This study contained both population and context-driven extensions and method and measurement-driven extensions. The research design remained the same as the original study. A mixed-methods design was used involving quantitative data from the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory and examination of a transition graph. Qualitative data were collected from student focus groups, teacher interviews, and an administrator interview. Through analysis of data collected, student intrinsic motivation in core courses and general orientation to learning were examined. For the study middle school, students showed the highest levels of intrinsic motivation in social studies partially because of challenging assignments. Math also had high academic intrinsic motivation levels. Reading had the lowest academic intrinsic motivation. Students did not find reading challenging and appeared oversaturated with reading at the elementary school level. One important factor for intrinsic motivation to learn subjects was the teacher. When compared to the replicated study, middle school students showed more intrinsic motivation than high school students.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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