Date of Award



© 2018 Joseph Marc Zagerman

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Joanne Cooper

Second Advisor

Heather Wilmot

Third Advisor

Douglas Clark


Contemporary pedagogical theory examines the shift from passive to active instructional techniques in order to enhance student engagement and learning. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to develop a deeper understanding of the lived educational experiences of Millennials enrolled in an introductory statistics course when song lyrics were used as an instructional technique. Gardner’s (2011) theory of Multiple Intelligence served as the theoretical framework of this study and provided implications for higher education. Seven traditional undergraduate students participated in this study in which song lyrics were used to inform and reinforce the six steps of hypothesis testing. Data was gathered through the use of 5-Minute Response forms and one-on-one interviews. Five themes surfaced from the data: Music/song lyrics serves as a valuable memory aid, music/song lyrics enhances student engagement, music/song lyrics serves as an effective teaching strategy, song selection and duration impact student disengagement, and the use of music/song lyrics enhances student focus. Participants described their experience in terms of “aha” and “wow” moments. Findings of the study were consistent with existing literature in terms of enhanced student engagement and learning. Implications of the study revealed that four intelligences, not just the musical intelligence dimension, benefited from the use of song lyrics as an instructional technique. Moreover, the use of Multiple Intelligence Theory is transformative in nature because it is inclusive. Further research recommends a more diverse sampling population and quantitative methodology.


Ed.D. Dissertation