Date of Award



© 2015 Ryan Patrie

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Brianna Parsons

Second Advisor

Michelle Collay

Third Advisor

Suzan Nelson


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the experiences of fourth-grade learners in a math classroom, how fourth graders express their interest and desire to learn math, and how different instructional strategies influence that interest and desire. The participants for this study were all fourth graders enrolled at a rural school district in Maine that serves approximately 1,200 learners in grades pre-kindergarten through Grade 6. Fifteen fourth graders provided the data to determine student perceptions on how they engage in math instruction. The findings of this study indicate strong relationships between instructional strategies and the self-determination theory of motivation. Specifically, students prefer learning that is problem solving oriented, purposeful, future focused, voice in choice in how they learn and that students require relatedness, autonomy and competence when learning math.


Ed.D. Dissertation