Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan O'Connor

Second Advisor

Jeanine Gregoire


How do children learn best? This study looks at what students themselves feel makes school fun, what type of environment helps them learn best, and what types of strategies help them persevere when things are hard. This study of fourth grade students-diverse in ethnic background, socio-economic status, mindset, and identified academic level-examines student perspectives on learning. Qualitative methods including journal reflections, interviews and descriptive analysis are used. It explores how students' mood and sense of belonging play a dynamic part in their readiness to learn. This research provides perspectives on how the learning environment as well as students' sense of engagement impacts student learning. In addition, it examines how students' mindset for learning affect learning outcomes. Based on the findings, it makes recommendations for educators to use student perspectives to maximize learning in the classroom.


SC 11.MAE.2017.Lange.CO