Date of Award



© 2017 Aimee Frechette

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Kevin Richard


The purpose of this individual case study was to investigate students’ perspectives on levels of motivation to reach mastery on identified standards when provided a standards-based approach to instruction, assessment, and reporting as compared to a traditional approach that utilized number and letter grades. The site studied is a rural elementary school located within a district that is beginning initiation of a standards-based approach. Resting on the foundation of motivational theory, this study sought to answer the question, how does the implementation of a standards-based approach to instruction and assessment impact the students’ perception of their level of motivation to work toward mastery on an identified standard? Qualitative data gleaned from surveys of four teacher participants was used to ascertain their feelings regarding the implementation of a standards-based approach and their perceptions of their students’ level of motivation in the classroom. Results showed that students felt more motivated to reach mastery on identified standards, were more aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and felt that their classrooms were more student-centered under a standards-based approach. Teachers felt that the shift to a standards-based approach was more motivating to students, enhanced student collaboration, and promoted a more supportive classroom environment.


Ed.D. Dissertation