Date of Award


Document Type



Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony J. Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

James Campbell


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect on classroom engagement of question formulation technique (QFT), which teaches students how to produce, improve, and prioritize their own questions. This study took place at a medium-sized suburban high school between September 2018 and May 2019. The sample included 263 students (53.7% male and 46.3% female) from twelve earth science classes taught by five different teachers; 80.5% were freshmen, 6.7% were sophomores, 10.1% were juniors, and 2.7% were seniors. Students completed the Classroom Engagement Inventory (CEI) before and after the intervention. The CEI is a classroom-level survey that uses self-reporting to measure multiple dimensions of engagement: affective engagement, behavioral engagement, cognitive engagement, and disengagement. Students rated each of the CEI’s 24 statements on a 5-point scale that ranged from every day (1) to never (5). Each student’s total engagement was the sum of the students’ ratings of the 24 statements. At the end of the study a paired-sample t assessed indicated significant differences in the means for total engagement between the beginning and end of the year. Themes emerged from hand coding of an open-ended question added to the posttest CEI. The themes indicated that 71% of students found QFT to be a useful tool for classroom engagement. Semistructured interviews conducted with the teachers and analyzed using Guskey’s five critical levels of professional development indicated that teachers found the professional development to be successful. These findings can help with the design of future studies that evaluate classroom practices that increase student classroom engagement. The findings can also assist with the planning of professional development that accompanies these practices.